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naperville divorce lawyerIf you believe that your marriage was a mistake, you may be considering getting a divorce. However, you may qualify for an annulment in Illinois. An annulment or "Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage" allows two partners to legally exit a marriage that is deemed fraudulent or invalid. If you want to get your marriage annulled, a divorce attorney can help you understand whether you qualify for an annulment. If you cannot get your marriage annulled, you may need to pursue a divorce instead. 

When  Can You Get a Marriage Annulled in Illinois?

Not all marriages can be annulled in Illinois. An annulment has strict requirements and is actually more difficult to obtain than a divorce. In order to qualify for an annulment in the state, the marriage must violate the law or public policy in some way. Here are some valid reasons for seeking an annulment: 

  • One spouse was underage at the time the marriage took place and did not have parental consent to get married.

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naperville child custody lawyerIn divorce and family law cases involving children, it is usually assumed that both parents will continue to play an active role in their children’s lives. Parents will need to work together to provide for their children’s needs, and as part of their divorce decree or child custody order, they will be required to create a parenting plan. This document will set down all of the decisions that are made about how parents will share custody of their children, and it will be a legally binding court order that they will both be required to follow. By understanding the issues addressed in their parenting plan, parents can ensure that they know their rights and responsibilities toward their children.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Some of the key issues that a parenting plan will address will involve the parents’ responsibilities in making decisions about how their children will be raised. Illinois law specifies that parents may divide or share decision-making responsibilities in the areas of education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities. In many cases, parents will share these responsibilities equally, but depending on the roles that each parent has played when making decisions for their children in the past and the parents’ ability to work together to make these decisions, different areas of responsibility may be allocated solely or primarily to one parent.

Parenting Time Schedules and Related Terms

What is sometimes referred to as physical custody or visitation is known in Illinois as parenting time. A parenting plan will fully detail the amount of time children will spend in each parent’s care, either by including a schedule for parenting time or a formula to be used to determine how parenting time will be allocated. A parenting time schedule should specify when children will be staying at each parent’s home on weekdays and weekends during the school year, and it should also address days that fall outside of that regular schedule, including school vacations, major holidays, and any other special days, such as children’s or parents’ birthdays.

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naperville divorce lawyerWhen a couple has decided to divorce, part of that process involves dividing their assets and debts in an equitable manner. As you go through and list the assets you and your spouse have, one asset that you may overlook are any retirement accounts either of you may have. Illinois recognizes retirement funds accumulated during the marriage as marital assets, so they become part of the marital estate and are divisible in the divorce.

Dividing Retirement Accounts

The division of retirement accounts can be complex because of the federal and state laws and regulations that may apply. There is also the issue of ownership of the funds that are in the account. Any funds that were accumulated in a retirement account prior to the couples marriage is considered separate property and does not become part of the divorce settlement. It is only the funds that accumulated while the couple were married that are distributable. This is why it is important to have a skilled Naperville divorce attorney representing you, to ensure your best interests are protected.

Ideally, the spouses will agree to offset assets and the retirement account will maintain intact. For example, one spouse may agree to take sole ownership of a vacation property the couple owns that has the same value of the other spouse’s retirement account. If both spouses have retirement accounts, then another option is that they agree that they will each keep their own accounts separate from the marital estate and any divorce settlement.

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