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When Can an Illinois Marriage Be Annulled?

Posted on in Family Law

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.

  • Either spouse lacked the ability to consent to the marriage due to a mental health issue or the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • The marriage is forbidden by law because a spouse was still legally married to another person at the time of the marriage or because the spouses are closely related.

  • Either spouse entered into the marriage through coercion or force.

  • The marriage is fraudulent. For example, if a spouse only got married to avoid being deported, the marriage would likely be considered fraudulent.

  • One of the spouses is unable to consummate the marriage through sexual intercourse and he or she did not tell the other spouse about this inability before getting married.

What If My Marriage Does Not Qualify for an Annulment?

Some people may assume that an annulment is easier to obtain than a divorce. However, the criteria for a Declaration Of Invalidity of Marriage are actually much stricter than the criteria for divorce. Illinois no longer recognizes fault-based grounds for divorce such as abuse or adultery. In order to be granted a divorce in Illinois, you will only need to show that “irreconcilable differences” between you and your spouse have caused an irreparable breakdown of the marriage and that efforts at reconciliation have been unsuccessful.

Contact a Naperville Annulment Lawyer

In order to be granted an annulment in Illinois, there must be a specific reason that your marriage is invalid. For help determining if your marriage meets the criteria for annulment and for assistance with other family law needs, contact Goostree Law Group. Call our office at 630-364-4046 today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs with an experienced Wheaton family law attorney.




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