Bars to relief and estoppel in nullity
Bars to relief and estoppel in nullity

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Bars to relief and estoppel in nullity
  • Can the court refuse to grant a decree?
  • Estoppel

Can the court refuse to grant a decree?

Aside from situations where a respondent successfully defends a petition for nullity, a decree may also be refused, in the case of voidable marriages, where one of the statutory bars arises. There is one bar that applies to all cases where a marriage is alleged to be voidable and three bars that apply to specific cases.

General bar

In proceedings for nullity begun after 31 July 1971 the court must not grant a decree of nullity on the ground that a marriage is voidable if the respondent satisfies the court:

  1. that the petitioner, with knowledge that it was open to them to have the marriage avoided, so conducted themselves in relation to the respondent as to lead the respondent reasonably to believe that they would not seek to do so, and

  2. that it would be unjust to the