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Understanding the Basics of Annulment in Illinois

Posted on in Annulments

Naperville family law attorneysThe concept of having a marriage annulled is one that is shrouded in confusion. Many people do not understand when annulment is a possible, or they assume that anyone can have their marriage annulled. In Illinois, an annulment is called a “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage.” There are strict rules which dictate when a person can get their marriage invalidated, and only a small percentage of individuals qualify for annulment. Read on to learn about the annulment laws in Illinois as well as what to do if you need to end your marriage.

The Difference Between Annulment and Divorce

When a person gets a divorce, their marriage is ended. However, annulment does not end a marriage, it actually nullifies the marriage entirely. A couple who has had their marriage annulled makes it so that it is if the marriage never happened at all. In the eyes of the law, an annulled marriage never took place.

In some faiths, divorce is frowned upon or disallowed entirely. Because of this, some churches and other religious organizations offer annulments for individuals who do not wish to be married. It is important to note that there is a huge difference between legal annulment and religious annulment. Although a religious annulment can have great personal and cultural significance, getting your marriage annulled through the church does not legally annul the marriage. 

Annulment is Only Offered in Certain Situations

There are four reasons that a marriage is eligible for annulment in Illinois. These include:

  • Non-consent: Marriage has to be entered into willingly by both parties. If a spouse did not consent to the marriage or could not understand what he or she was agreeing to, the marriage could be invalidated through an annulment. If a spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the marriage proceedings, mentally incapacitated in some way, or was forced to be married, the marriage is eligible for annulment. Furthermore, If the marriage only occurred as a means of avoiding U.S. immigration requirements, the marriage is considered fraudulent and is able to be annulled. 
  • Underage spouse(s): In Illinois, you must be 18 years old or older if you wish to get married without parental consent. Illinois residents aged 16-17 years can only marry if they have consent from a parent or legal guardian. If one or both of the spouses were minors and did not have the required parental consent, the marriage can be annulled.
  • Lack of consummation: If a spouse is incapable of consummating the marriage through sexual intercourse and the other spouse did not know about this incapacity, this qualifies the marriage for annulment.
  • Prohibited marriage: Some marriages are prohibited by law. If a spouse was already married to someone else, the marriage to the second individual is bigamous and can be annulled. Marriages between close relatives are also not allowed by law, so these marriages qualify for annulment as well.

Contact a Naperville, Illinois Divorce Lawyer

If you want to have your marriage annulled or dissolved through divorce, contact an experienced DuPage County annulment attorney from Pesce Law Group, P.C. today. Call 630-352-2240 for a free consultation.



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