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When Is an Annulment Appropriate?

Posted on in Annulments

Naperville family law attorneysAn annulment or having a marriage invalidated can be a complicated process to understand. Unlike a divorce, an annulment is only available to married people in certain situations. In order to get a marriage annulled, a couple must prove that the marriage occurred under illegitimate circumstances. Another source of confusion about annulments exists because there are religious annulments and civil annulments. Religious annulments are generally granted by clergy or religious leaders and are not recognized by the state. This article will only discuss civil annulments.

What Does an Annulment Accomplish?

Getting a marriage annulled essentially declares the marriage void. If you are granted an annulment in Illinois, the state will “cancel” your marriage and officially state that the marriage was never valid. Illinois annulments, technically called "judgments of invalidity," are not very common and are only granted if the couple meets certain requirements.

Reasons for a Judgment of Invalidity

An Illinois judge will only grant a judgment of invalidity if one of several grounds exists. A marriage can be annulled if:

  • Either spouse was not of legal age to be married or did not have the required parental consent;
  • The marriage was incestuous;
  • One or both spouses were already married when they wed;
  • A spouse was not mentally cognizant during the marriage or could not consent to the marriage due to mental illnesses, memory problems, or drugs and alcohol;
  • The marriage was fraudulent or a product of force or coercion; or
  • One of the spouses could not physically consummate the marriage, and the other spouse was unaware of this.

Will Getting My Marriage Annulled Affect Child Custody?

According to Illinois law, an annulment or judgment of invalidity does not automatically affect paternity or child custody. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that "children born or adopted of a marriage declared invalid are the lawful children of the parties." Children born of a marriage which is invalidated will not have any fewer rights that children born to parents who are still married.

Legal Advice From a Trustworthy Source

Getting a marriage annulled can be quite challenging. If you believe that your Illinois marriage should be invalidated, an experienced Naperville divorce attorney can help you understand your legal options. The dedicated lawyers at Pesce Law Group, P.C. have the skills and experience to help you end your marriage in the most efficient way possible. Call us today at 630-352-2240 to schedule a free initial consultation.



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