Applying for a marriage to be annulled

A nietigverklaring (annulment) means that a marriage never officially existed. A marriage can only be annulled by making an application to a judge.

Last updated on 14 October 2021

Lees deze informatie in het Nederlands

Reasons for annulling a marriage

A judge can annul a marriage for one of the following reasons:

  • one of the parties was already married;
  • the civil registrar was not authorised to celebrate the marriage;
  • not enough witnesses were present at the marriage ceremony;
  • the marriage was forced;
  • one of the spouses had a mental disorder;
  • one of the spouses was under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage;
  • there is too close a relationship of blood or affinity (marriage between children, grandchildren or siblings is not allowed);
  • the marriage was a sham marriage (for example, to obtain authorisation to live in the Netherlands where the non-Dutch partner does not have a permanent residence permit).

Applying for a marriage to be annulled

You must apply to the rechtbank (district court) to have your marriage annulled. You will need a lawyer to do this.

Laws and regulations (in Dutch)

Burgerlijk Wetboek Boek 1, afdeling 5

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