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where are the limitations on the courts powers to grant a decree of annulment contained

section 13 of the MCA 1973


What is S 13(1)

You will not be entitled to a decree of nullity if you conducted yourself in a way that allowed your partner to believe you would not seek a decree. This creates a sort of estoppel.


S 13(2) creates a time limit of 3 years for which grounds

c, d, e, f and h


S 13(3) states

must be ignorant of the fact


What is S 13 2A

ground g must be made within six months


S 13(4)

states when someone may seek a decree beyond the time limit usually imposed but this is very narrow when (a) mental disorder and (b) It would be just in all the senses



P was a British citizen, who was taken by her family to Pakistan and married the day of her 16th birthday. On her return to the UK, P left the marriage and went into hiding from her husband and family, complaining to the police. Although the 3 years had passed in which she could seek a decree of nullity, the courts held they could use their inherent jurisdiction to hold the marriage void, to avoid substantive statute, when justifiable on the facts.