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When Can a Marriage Be Annulled in Illinois?

Posted on in Annulments

DuPage County divorce and family law attorneysAnnulment differs significantly from divorce or separation. While a divorce ends a marriage, an annulment cancels the marriage entirely. After a marriage has been annulled, it is as if the marriage never happened. Annulments are only granted for specific reasons in certain situations. Not just any anyone qualifies for an annulment, or as it is called in Illinois, a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage. If you have reason to believe your marriage is invalid and should be annulled, read on to learn more.

Grounds for Annulment in Illinois

A marriage cannot be annulled just because a couple regrets getting married. If a couple wishes to have their marriage declared invalid, they must meet one of several criteria. Firstly, a marriage can be invalidated if a party could not consent to the marriage due to mental illness or incapacitation, or because one or both parties were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A marriage which someone enters into through force, fraud, or duress can also be declared invalid. Furthermore, marriages can be annulled if one of the parties lacks the ability to consummate the marriage and the other party did not know about this incapacity. In Illinois, individuals aged 16-17 years can only get married with consent from a parent or guardian, or via judicial approval. If a party was under 18 at the time the marriage took place and did not have the required approval, the marriage can be annulled.

Prohibited Marriages

Marriages which are not allowed by law are called “prohibited marriages.” Close relatives are prohibited from getting married. This includes both blood-related and adopted siblings as well as other close relatives. First cousins are only allowed to marry in Illinois if both parties are over age 50 and at least one of the parties is infertile.

A marriage is also prohibited if one or both parties are already married. For example, if a husband is still legally married to his first wife, he cannot legally marry another person. Having more than one spouse is called bigamy and it is prohibited in all fifty states. Bigamy is sometimes intentional. A spouse may attempt to marry a second spouse even though they know they are still married to someone else. Bigamy can also be unintentional. When an individual’s divorce was never legally finalized, he or she may unintentionally enter into a bigamous marriage with his or her second spouse.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you have reason to believe your marriage should be annulled, contact an experienced Naperville divorce lawyer for help. Call the Pesce Law Group, P.C. today at 630-352-2240 to schedule a free initial consultation.



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