Annulment of Marriage and how it affects your HDB flat
What is an annulment of marriage?
An annulment of marriage in Singapore is different from divorce in that it renders the marriage null and void.
An annulment of marriage is a court order that a marriage is null and void. Annulments are granted when a court makes a finding a marriage is invalid. While a divorce ends a legally valid marriage, an annulment treats the marriage as if it never existed.
Annulment of marriage could be applied for on the following grounds:
- The other party is already married at the time of your marriage
- The other party has refused to consummate the marriage
- The inability of the other party to consummate the marriage
- The other party is suffering from any sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
The annulment process – Annulment of Marriage
The annulment process in Singapore is very different from the divorce process. The different processes are:
- If you want to apply for a divorce, you need to be married for at least 3 years before you can file. If you want to apply for an annulment, you do not need to be married for 3 years – you can file for an annulment any time after your marriage.
- In the annulment process, you are required to attend court for a brief hearing if you are the plaintiff. In a divorce, you do not need to attend court if parties agree on the divorce.
- It is quite common (but not always) that the annulment does not involve any ancillary issues such as property division or maintenance. This is because the marriage is typically a short one.
- In the annulment process, you return to being ‘single.’ In the divorce process, you are a ‘divorcee.’
What happens to your HDB flat when the marriage is annulled?
If a divorce is due to the non-consummation of marriage, annulment of marriage, or there is a break-up of the Fiancé / Fiancée relationship, neither party is allowed to retain the HDB flat.
Retention of the flat by either party is only allowed with parents who were originally listed in the application to buy the HDB flat. If none of the owners are eligible to retain the flat, the flat may have to be returned to HDB at the prevailing compensation price, subject to HDB’s approval.
When you file for annulment, we will submit either an “Agreed Matrimonial Property” Plan or “Standard Query” form to the HDB for an assessment of your eligibility to retain the flat.
Annulment and your HDB Flat
If you are seeking an annulment of marriage, and you and your spouse have a HDB flat, the general rule is that HDB will not allow anyone of you to retain the flat or to sell the flat. It has to be surrendered to HDB.