Divorce, or, dissolution of marriage, are the terms usually used to describe the end of a marriage due to various reasons. However, an annulment of marriage in Singapore is described as a marriage that is non-existent in the eyes of the law. Therefore, the effects of annulment of marriage are different from the dissolution of marriage or divorce. The difference is particularly observed in the maintenance payments, the status of the property and children. So, let us check out the implications of the annulment of marriage in Singapore on maintenance payments, property and children.
Status of children
In most cases, the main issue in an annulment of marriage is to determine the legitimate status of the children. If the child is proved as illegitimate, then it can potentially impact the intestate succession and rights of the child after an annulment. Moreover, this could further impact the ability or eligibility of the biological parent to try getting a house through the HDB housing scheme.
If a marriage has never existed according to the rule of law, is the child from the couple defined as an illegitimate child? Fortunately, this status is determined only in limited cases.
In the case of a voidable marriage i.e., marriage is acknowledged by the law, but both parties hold the right to deem the marriage null and void, the child from this kind of marriage is considered as a legitimate child. In legal terms, the voidable marriage is defined to be existing till the date the court of law passed the order, declaring the marriage as null and void.
Therefore, according to the annulment lawyer in Singapore, the child born from a voidable marriage is considered as the legitimate child of the union as the marriage was existent at the time of the birth of the child. Whereas a child born after a marriage is dissolved or termed null and void by the court is termed an illegitimate child.
In void marriage, a child born from the marriage is considered a legitimate child as long as either of the parents or both parents reasonably believe that their union or marriage was valid as per the Singapore law at the time of the birth of the child. Therefore, if one of the parties was unaware that they were marrying someone underage or below 18 years of age, then children born from that union are considered illegitimate. If one or both parties knew beyond doubt that their marriage could be considered void under Singapore law because one of them is underage or below 18 years of age, then children born from the union are considered illegitimate.
Irrespective of the child’s status, the earning parent would still be liable to pay for child maintenance. A very significant consideration is that the child should be the biological offspring of the parent.
The court of law upholds the interest of children above all other considerations. Therefore, a parent cannot evade paying maintenance for the child even though they do not have child custody, or they opt to disown their child.
When the marriage is declared as null and video by the court of law, the ancillary proceedings of dividing the asset and properties is reminiscent of a divorce. According to an annulment lawyer in Singapore, the court of law will take the same approach and consider similar factors while dividing the matrimonial assets in an annulment of marriage. The main difference in an annulment is related to the ownership of the HDB flats. While in case of a divorce, both parties can decide whether to sell the real estate property in the market or ask one of the parties to buy the property share of the other party, or surrender the property to the HDB.
In an annulment of marriage, either party does not hold any rights to the property post the annulment. They are required by law to hand over the flat to the HDB.
These are the main implications of the annulment of marriage on child maintenance, children and property. You can seek the assistance of a good annulment lawyer or a good divorce lawyer in Singapore to help you navigate through the annulment proceedings and to help you protect your interest during the process.
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