A marriage that is void or voidable can be annulled in court proceedings, but these marriages also produce all the legal effects that valid marriages produce until the annulment.
When a marriage is annulled, court decision declares that it was invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DIVORCE AND AN ANNULMENT?
Since both proceedings end in a court decision, the main difference is what effect the decision has on marriage. When it comes to divorce, marriage ceases to exist with the immediate legality of the verdict, while the decision to annul the marriage has the consequence of the fiction that the marriage never even existed.
WHAT ARE VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES?
Void and voidable marriages are so-called fake (fictitious) marriages that can be annulled in court proceedings. However, it does not necessarily mean that such marriages must necessarily be annulled, depending on the circumstances of the particular case. Therefore, in this type of court cases it is crucial to hire a lawyer who will ensure that your interests are adequately represented and protected.
WHEN A MARRIAGE IS VOID OR WHEN CAN A MARRIAGE BE ANNULLED?
Marriage is void if there are any of the following reasons:
- The marriage was arranged between persons of the same sex;
- Spouses have not made affirmative statements;
- The marriage wasn’t made in front of the registrar;
- The marriage was not arranged to achieve a community of the life of spouses (except when the community of spouses’ lives is subsequently established);
- The marriage was arranged during the duration of an earlier marriage of one of the spouses (except when the previous marriage in the meantime ceased);
- The marriage was concluded by a person incapable of judgment (if a person in the meantime becomes capable of judgment, that kind of marriage is voidable)
- The marriage made by blood relatives, in-laws, or in-law relatives between whom marriage is not allowed;
- The marriage was made by a guardian and a protégé.
WHEN A MARRIAGE IS VOIDABLE?
Marriage is voidable if there are any of the following reasons:
- The marriage was made by a minor without court’s permission;
- One of the spouses agreed to conclude the marriage under coercion, i.e., when another spouse or third party used force or threat or caused a reasonable fear;
- One of the spouses agreed to conclude a marriage in the delusion of another spouse’s personality or any important trait of his.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES?
If the marriage is void, the annulment of that kind of marriage can be requested by spouses, other interested persons and by the public prosecutor, while annulment of a voidable marriage can only be requested by spouses and in that type of an annulment, the annulment lawsuit can be filed by the spouses and their legal representatives, if they are minors. However, it should be noted that the consequence of the court decision annulling the marriage is the same regardless of the reason why the proceedings were initiated in the first place.