Annulment of marriage between two persons in the RA
The provisions on the invalidity of the marriage between two persons are stipulated in chapter 5 of the Family Code of the Republic of Armenia. Part 1 of Article 20 of the RA Family Code establishes that the marriage can be annulled only by the court. Note, however, that the invalidity of the marriage by the RA legislation only occurs under certain circumstances, strictly defined by law. This invalidity entails certain legal consequences affecting the rights and responsibilities of both spouses. Below you will find the exhaustive list for grounds for annulment of marriage between two persons:
- Marriage concluded in the absence of mutual and voluntary consent of the man and woman who marry (i. e. forcibly);
- The marriage is concluded between persons under 18 years of age;
- Marriage concluded in the absence of the consent of parents, adoptive parents or guardian of the person who wants to marry and who has reached the age of 17 years;
- Marriage concluded in the absence of the consent of parents, adoptive parents or guardian of the person who wants to marry and who has reached the age of 16 years, and the other person marrying is under the age of 18 years;
- The marriage is concluded between persons one of whom is in previously registered marriage; (bigamy)
- The marriage is concluded between close relatives IE: relatives in the direct ascending and/or descending lines: parents with children, grandparents with grandchildren. Other legally defined families: having common father or mother, brothers, and sisters, children, sister, brother, mother and father);
- Marriage concluded between adoptive parents and adopted children;
- The marriage is concluded between persons one of whom is recognized by the court as incapable; (mentally)
- Marriage where one of the spouses has no intent to create a family (marriage of convenience);
- A person who entered into marriage, at the moment of State registration of the marriage, has concealed from the other spouse (husband/wife) the presence of venereal disease (including human immunodeficiency virus), as well as, mental illness, drug and/or other substance abuse.
The court shall, within three days from the date of entry into force of a court decision on the annulment of marriage, send the extract of the verdict to the body carrying out state registration or the Civil Registry. The moment the marriage becomes annulled is from the moment of registry of the court verdict of annulment in the State Civil Registry of the particular area where the plaintiff is resident.
It is important to note that in accordance with the provisions of the Family Code of the Republic of Armenia, not every person has the legal right to issue a request for the annulment. The law states that to bring a claim forward for annulment of marriage a person must be;
- Minor (under the legal age of 18 years) spouse, his parents (legal representatives), the guardianship authority if the marriage is concluded with a person under the age of consent. After an underage spouse reaches the age of eighteen years, he/she is entitled to claim for annulment of the marriage;
- The spouse, whose rights have been violated by marriage IE: if the marriage is concluded in the absence of the consent of the spouse, the spouse who was not aware of the circumstances that prevent the marriage taking place, the husband/wife of the guardian, recognized by the court as incapable/mentally deficient, the spouse from the previous marriage still in force (bigamy), other persons whose rights have been violated, as well as the guardianship authority;
- A spouse who was not aware of the fictitious nature of marriage (convenience).
Circumstances precluding nullity of marriage in the Republic of Armenia
The Family Code provides for a number of circumstances under which the declaration of marriage null and void is excluded. The marriage can be declared valid if at the time of the proceedings for annulment the circumstances that hinder its conclusion have disappeared. Another example of when the marriage may be declared valid, a marriage entered into with a person who marries during his wife’s pregnancy or the birth of a child, or if it was required by the interests of the underage spouse, as well as, the absence of the consent of the underage spouse for annulment of the marriage.
Additionally, refusal to recognize the invalidity of the marriage because of its fictitious nature can be given if the person before the case actually created a family (IE: no longer false). And finally, the marriage cannot be invalidated after the termination of marriage, except if prohibited by law by way of kinship, or status of one of the spouses at the moment of state registration of the marriage, being married to someone else (IE: bigamy).
Consequences of the invalidity of marriage
Obviously, should the marriage be declared null and void, it is considered hereafter null and void for all intents and purposes. Part 1 of the Article 23 of the Family Code of the Republic of Armenia stipulates that should the marriage be recognized as invalid by the court, the marriage then does not generate rights and responsibilities of spouses as provided in this Code, except in certain cases.
However please note, when deciding on the recognition of the marriage null and void, the court may recognize that the spouse whose rights have been violated by the conclusion of such a marriage (a bona fide spouse/of good character), the right to receive from the other spouse(of non bona fide/not good character) the maintenance, the division of property acquired jointly until the annulment, the right to demand partition of joint property, as well as, recognize the actual marriage contract in whole, or in part. The rest of the property acquired by the spouses during the marriage, subject to the provisions of the Civil Code of the Republic of Armenia is subject to shared ownership. Conscientious spouse is entitled to demand compensation for any damage to property, as well as, to preserving the names chosen by them during the state registration of the marriage. The nullity of a marriage does not affect the rights of children born in that marriage or within three hundred days after the annulment.