Assessment of Divorce & Annulment for WidB

Note: WidB is a CLOSED PAYMENT with no new entrants since 1 July 1997. The information provided below is to be used FOR HISTORICAL PURPOSES ONLY as there are still some current WidB recipients. As a consequence any same-sex discriminatory related terminology has remained unchanged.


This topic discusses how to assess divorce and marriage annulments for the purposes of qualification for WidB.


A woman with a decree nisi under the Australian Family Law Act is not considered to be divorced until the decree becomes absolute, usually one month after the decree nisi.

Annulment of marriage in Australia

A woman whose marriage has been annulled under the Family Law Act 1975 is NOT divorced. Annulment means that a marriage is invalid because:

  • either party was already married at the time of the ceremony,
  • the marriage was within a prohibited relationship,
  • there was no consent by one or both of the parties to the marriage,
  • the ceremony was invalid, or
  • either or both of the parties was not of marriageable age.

Annulment of marriage overseas

Some countries do not have legal divorce and use only annulment.

Explanation: In certain countries, an annulment is the equivalent of a divorce.

Example: Chile.

If a marriage has been annulled under the law of another country for reasons other than the marriage being void, it is possible that the annulment could be accepted as the equivalent of a divorce.

Last reviewed: 7 November 2016