An interactive discussion between the moderator and members of the bed briefing family on the topic: NO GROUND FOR DIVORCE; WHAT THEN IS ANNULMENT?

Date: 6th May 2021

Time : 7:00 pm

Venue: Bed Briefing House via Telegram

Moderator: Mrs Oluchi Nwokwor

Collator: Miss Benita Aniebo


I believe we are all familiar with them words divorce and annulment. Well as we know both are related to marriage. So before a divorce or annulment occurs there already is a union between a male and female who wish to be together as husband and wife. The both are also related in that they are pointing at separation of the individuals involved. For me, annulment is declaring a marriage invalid by a judge usually in Catholic Church we have Canonical Judge then divorce is breaking up a marriage. Both of them are related but annulment is for me an official way of breaking up a marriage which must be done under an evidence of deceiption from any of the partners maybe because of the problem of conception or impotency and vice versa.

In case of a divorce, it is trying to breakup or dissolve a marriage that had a valid ground of existence and recognized by the law. Annulment simply means that something never really existed in the first place and so the parties involved are free to live separately and build their lives again.

These definitions will guide you to point out between the two stories I have to share which is a case of annulment and divorce.

Ada is my friend who found out in 2018 that she had a vaginal abnormality. She was into a serious relationship that ended in marriage Dec that year. Before she wedded, she went to UNTH to get a restructuring of the affected part. But didn’t tell her fiancee about it. Later on she had an infection that required her and her husband visit the hospital. The doctor said that the surgery she had then was not well managed so the cause of the infection. Her husband got furious and wanted separation. What type of separation will you call this?

For me it’s annulment because Ada deceived her husband on her innability to conceive. Once the husband had an evidence that such problem had been there before their wedding, I think that marriage is INVALID AND MUST BE SEPARATED, AND THAT I CALL IT, ANNULMENT. The exchange of vows were just mere words without spiritual implication or rather sacramental grace. Reason being that the parties or one of them before the marriage has not totally given self to the other in honesty, sincerity and transparency.


Dubem always complained that his wife was a disturbance to him. He always pointed out how he would loose his temper during an argument and hit his wife. I talked to the wife over the phone and she told me they lost their second baby because Dubem hit her and currently one of her eyes is swollen. She complained how Dubem maltreated her emotionally. Least I forget Dubem said that his annoyance and hatred for her grew after he found out she still head intimate connections with her ex.

Well as it stands now, Dubem’s wife wants to separate…. If you are to judge, will you call the separation an annulment or divorce?

This should be divorce not annulment. Before you get married you should tell your partner everything about yourself. And it is expected that your partner does same to you. …. Marriage is built on trust and trust can grows from an honest relationship…

Can we consider annulment as a dissolution of marriage or separation of partners who thought were married but only to discover that marriage never existed?

Yes we can. Some persons can hide secrets about themselves because they are afraid of the outcome. And truth be told , sometimes they don’t get married. But don’t be discouraged is better that the marriage did not hold than it being separated after the wedding and so much sacrifices and ceremonies .

Annulment is the separation of partners who thought were married but their marriage never existed.


In the second story about Dubem…. What do you think the Catholic Church says about it?Do you think the church will approve their divorce?

For the records guys, Catholic church does not divorce but annuls a marriage.


Are we also aware that some men want to date a lady but don’t want to spend the rest of their lives with them? And we lady we won’t see all this..but we will pushing ourselves to the man until pregnancy occurs.. And you think the man would live happily with you?

Sometimes you may think you partner may get angry when you reveal some truths about yourself to them. But you will be so marvelled how casual they handle it because they really love you and want the best for you. Or simply because they are more easy going and don’t make a big deal of it.



Annulment or nullity of marriage could be distinguished from the dissolution of marriage in that, in the case of nullity of marriage, the marriage is invalid ab initio or voidable at the instance of one party, while for the dissolution of marriage, the marriage is brought to an end because the marriage has broken down irretrievably.


A petition for an annulment of void marriage can be filed at any time and that of voidable marriage can be filed one year after the marriage based on some grounds, a petition for a divorce cannot be filed when the marriage is less than two years except with the leave (permission) of the court.


The petition for annulment of marriage can only be filed based on limited instances or reasons stipulated in the statutes, but the divorce petition can be filed under the extended fact of “intolerable behaviours” among other reasons.


Only parties to a marriage can file for a petition for dissolution of marriage, but the petition for nullity or annulment of marriage can be filed by any interested third party whose legal interest may be affected by such a marriage.


When a marriage has been annulled, the couple becomes single again as if they have never married before, but after a divorce, the couple will become divorcees.


Based on that last point, do you think people affected by separation or annulment can still receive holy Communion?

If the church annuls their marriage, they are eligible to receive the sacrament.


Though am not in a Law school but the little I know is that a during divorce proceedings or process of divorcing, the judge in a Law court will mandate the partners to share what they have in common like their children and properties. An example is the trending news divorce between Bill Gates and Melinda (Gates), which I read through media that when Bill Gates and Melinda share their properties, that Bill Gates will drop from his position as the 4th richest man to 17th in the whole world.

*When the divorce becomes final in a Law court, the partners are not legally bound to one another and as such, in a Law court they can marry anyother person suitable for them.

Divorce is unacceptable in the Church, so divorcees cannot remarry. To remarry is to commit adultery because God has already joined them together in the previous marriage unless there’s a ground for annulment

Then what about those that did annulment?

They can remarry because annulment means marriage never existed from the onset .


We shall conclude with this question. What other grounds do you think annulment is permissible apart from deciet ?

When one party doesn’t give his or her consent.

Ignorance, force, unsound mind, bigamy, underage, no consumation of marriage and so on.

Bigamy is the act of marrying one person while legally married to another.

What if you divorced and then your wife died?

You must treat the diseased as your wife and then seek advice from the Church with regard to the Way forward .

God bless you!

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