As stated in the Continuing Legal Education BC materials:
Circumstances in Which Nullity of Marriage Applies
Nullity actions are rare but may still be the choice of parties whose religious or cultural backgrounds make them averse to divorce proceedings. If a marriage is invalid, the only remedy is an action for nullity, not a divorce.
A declaration of nullity may be obtained in two situations:
- Void marriages, which are null and void ab initio; and
- Voidable marriages, which are valid until a court of competent jurisdiction grants a declaration of nullity (although such a declaration has the effect of invalidating the marriage from its beginning).
Mr. Ahuja of our office argued this issue in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Brar v. Brar – where the opposing party sought an annulment, which could have potentially affected our client’s immigration status. He was involved in a fake marriage scam in India prior to his marriage with the opposing party. The first marriage was considered void ab initio, meaning that there was no marriage. His second marriage was valid, and the parties were subsequently divorced.