In the case of Doiron v. Lawson, both parties married on August 16, 2016, but never lived together. The Applicant brought an application for annulment on April 26, 2018, saying that there was no relationship and she was used by the Respondent for immigration purposes.
The Applicant deposed that the marriage was never consummated and she believed that the Respondent had never intended to act as her husband. Thus, the Applicant argued that she was entitled to an annulment because the marriage was not consummated and the Respondent only married for immigration purposes.
What Does it Mean to Annul a Marriage?
Annulment is the legal process of voiding a marriage that was never valid or legal in the first place. In order to get an annulment, certain grounds must be met. These can include:
- One of the spouses was already married to someone else
- One of the spouses was too young to marry
- Coercion into the marriage by fear or fraud
- The spouses are too closely related
- One or both spouses were intoxicated and unable to give valid consent at the time of the marriage
- One spouse did not have the mental incapacity to consent to the marriage
Justice MacEachern ruled that the Applicant cannot succeed on the basis of non-consummation. Non-consummation due to a mere refusal or a willful refusal to engage in sexual intercourse is not sufficient grounds for a claim for annulment.
Since the Court could not find that there was a permanent impotency based on the evidence provided, the Court found that there was a willful refusal on the part of the Respondent with regards to consummating the marriage. Nonetheless, the Court refused to grant the Applicant an annulment on that basis.
Furthermore, the Applicant was unsuccessful with regards to her immigration argument. In Iantsis (Papatheodorou) v. Papatheodorou, the Court of Appeal found that immigration fraud cannot be relied upon to grant an annulment.
It is worth noting that the Applicant was self-represented. This may, in part, explain the perceived lack of preparation. She did not seem familiar with the legal test for annulment, nor did she provide basic documentation, such as her marriage license. However, she will still be able to seek a divorce.
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