Marriage annulment

Marriage annulment

Marriage annulment is one of several reasons why a marriage ends. Other reasons for ending a marriage include: biological death of one of the spouses, recognition of a spouse as deceased, divorce decree.

A court ruling annulling a marriage has a far-reaching effect, which is about it, that the marriage relationship is treated like this, as if it didn't exist from the beginning.

The family code provides for several grounds for annulment of marriage. Each of them is specific and has a different character from the others.

Grounds for marriage annulment

The reasons for the annulment may be:

– lack of the required age of the spouses,
– incapacitation of the spouse,
– mental illness or mental retardation of a spouse,
– remaining in a different marriage by a spouse,
– kinship or affinity between spouses,
– adoption ratio between spouses.

In addition to the above situations, a marriage may be annulled due to a defect in the declaration of entering into marriage. We deal with such a defect when the declaration has been submitted:

– by person, which, for whatever reason, was in a state that disables conscious expression of will,
– under the influence of mistake as to the identity of the other party,
– under the influence of an unlawful threat by the other party or a third party, if the circumstances show, that composed
– the statement he might have feared, that he or someone else is in grave personal danger.

One more reason for marriage annulment, provided for by the family and guardianship code, there is no court permission to submit a declaration of entering into marriage by a proxy or if the power of attorney was invalid or effectively revoked. In such a case, annulment of the marriage may be requested by the principal.

The principle introduced by the Family and Guardianship Code is this, that marriage annulment can only be requested in these situations, which have been provided for by this code.

Who is authorized to annul the marriage?

A court rules on annulment of the marriage. For this purpose, it is necessary to bring an action by a person authorized to do so under the provisions of the family and guardianship code.. For each of the reasons indicated by this legal act, the legislator also indicates, who can bring such an action. This right is also vested in a public prosecutor.

The public prosecutor has the power to bring an action for annulment of the marriage, regardless of the power of others. The prosecutor may bring these claims on the same grounds, which have been provided for other authorized persons.

In what proceedings are cases for annulment of marriage considered? ?

Marriage annulment cases have a certain specificity, making, that their recognition and adjudication by the court is carried out in separate proceedings - proceedings in matrimonial matters. The separate procedure is obligatory here.
In the process of annulment of marriage, the court may also decide on matters relating to meeting the needs of the family and for maintenance both between spouses, as well as between them and their joint minor children as well as matters relating to custody of children and joint housing of spouses.

To what extent the court decides ?

The rule is, that the court declaring the annulment of the marriage, it also rules, whether and which of the spouses entered into a marriage in bad faith.
If any of the spouses knew about the circumstances giving rise to the annulment of the marriage at the time of its conclusion, he is considered to be in bad faith.
To consider someone to be in bad faith, it is necessary to prove, that he was aware of the facts or events at the time of his marriage, which are the cause of nullity of the marriage.

The court decides on bad faith ex officio, that means there is no need, that the claimant in a marriage annulment bring such a request to the court.

The content of the judgment regarding bad faith of one of the spouses may be as follows:

– both spouses entered into a marriage in bad faith,
– one of the spouses got married in bad faith,
– neither spouse got married in bad faith.

remember, that:

– In matrimonial matters, that's the reason, each of the spouses can be the defendant, depending on this, which of them decides to bring an action first,
– The public prosecutor has the right to bring an action for annulment of the marriage,
– Despite the, that the court decides ex officio on the spouses' bad faith, who got married and the presumptions, that the spouse is considered to be in bad faith, who knew about the circumstances giving rise to its annulment at the time of the marriage, does not mean it, that it is not possible to prove the lack of bad faith during the proceedings.

Legal basis:

Act of 25 February 1964 r. Family and guardianship code, (Dz. U. from 1964. No 9 item. 59 with changes).