Void Marriages vs Voidable Marriages

Void and voidable marriages are two types of marriages that are considered legally invalid, but the key difference between them lies in the circumstances that make them invalid.

A void marriage is a marriage that is considered null and void from the outset, meaning it is not legally recognised from the moment it is created. Examples of void marriages include marriages that involve a bigamous or incestuous relationship, or marriages that are entered into without the legal capacity to marry, such as marriages involving minors.

A voidable marriage is a marriage that may be considered invalid at the option of one or both of the parties involved. In other words, a voidable marriage is a marriage that is initially valid, but one or both parties have the right to void the marriage under certain legal reasons. Examples of situations that may make a marriage voidable include fraud, duress, undue influence, or incapacity of one of the parties.

It is important to note that the process of voiding a voidable marriage differs from that of a void marriage. In a void marriage, there is no legal requirement to obtain a divorce or annulment, as the marriage is considered null and void from the outset. In contrast, in a voidable marriage, one or both parties may choose to seek an annulment or divorce to formally dissolve the marriage.

In summary, the key difference between void and voidable marriages is that a void marriage is null and void from the outset, while a voidable marriage is initially valid but may be voided under certain legal circumstances.
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