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Naperville family lawyerGetting a marriage annulled is not simply another way to end a marriage. While divorce terminates a marriage, an annulment declares that a marriage was never valid in the first place. In Illinois, an annulment is technically called a “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage.” An individual cannot get their marriage annulled simply because they regret getting married. In order to qualify for an annulment, there must be some reason that the marriage is considered invalid. Fortunately, if a marriage does not qualify for an annulment, the couple will still be able to end their marriage through divorce.

Reasons That a Marriage May Be Considered Invalid

In many cases when we hear about a married couple getting an annulment, it is a religious annulment through their church. However, a civil annulment is only issued if a marriage is invalid for some reason. The justifications for annulment include:

  • One or both of the spouses did not meet the age requirements to be married according to Illinois law. Individuals aged 16 or 17 may marry, but they must have written permission from a parent, guardian, or Illinois judge.

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Wheaton paternity lawyerEstablishing paternity is something that every Illinois mother should consider for her child. Legally establishing paternity for your child can guarantee rights for both your child and your child’s biological father that neither would have otherwise. In some cases, you will not have to do anything to establish your child’s paternity. A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he is married to the child’s mother when the child is born or gets married within 300 days of the child’s birth. If the mother is unmarried when the child is born, she will have to establish the child’s paternity through a different route.

The easiest way to establish paternity is by having both parents sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form at the hospital when the child is born or shortly thereafter. If both parents do not agree about the child’s paternity, the case can be brought to court. In cases of contested paternity, genetic testing is often conducted to eliminate any doubts or disagreements about who the child’s biological father is.

How Does Genetic Testing Work?

If the paternity of a child is contested, the child’s parents can choose to go to court to settle the issue. If the couple does go to court for their paternity lawsuit, the judge will most likely order the mother, father, and child to all be genetically tested to determine the child’s paternity. Each person's DNA will be tested to look for matches. Every child gets half of their genes from their mother and half of their genes from their father. This means that portions of the child’s DNA will match parts of each parent's DNA. The child’s father is determined by finding matches between the child’s DNA and the father’s DNA. A man is ruled out as being the child’s father if the man’s DNA does not match the child’s.

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