call us630-584-4800

Free Consultations

Can You Get an Annulment in Illinois?

Posted on in Annulments

St. Charles Family Law AttorneyMost people are only vaguely familiar with the concept of marriage annulment. They may have heard about celebrity couples who get married only to have their marriage annulled a few days later or heard a rumor that you can get your marriage annulled if you have not had sexual intercourse yet. The reality of the situation is much more complex.

Annulment, or as it is called in Illinois, Declaration Of Invalidity Of Marriage, is permitted by Illinois law. However, you can only get your marriage annulled in a very narrow range of circumstances.

If you are married and wish to get your marriage annulled but do not qualify for an annulment, the only option you have for ending your marriage is divorce. In this blog, we will explain when and how annulment is possible in Illinois and what you can do if you require legal help to end your marriage.

Can I Get My Marriage Annulled in Kane County, Illinois?

Posted on in Annulments

Kane County Divorce LawyerNewlyweds are usually portrayed as doe-eyed romantics enjoying the beginning of a happy marriage. However, marriage does not always work out this way. Many newlyweds find themselves regretting their marriage vows. Spouses in this situation may wish to get their marriage annulled. However, annulments are only possible in certain situations. If you cannot get an annulment, your only option for ending your marriage is divorce.

How Can You Get Your Marriage Annulled?

Many people misunderstand what an annulment actually is. They assume that annulment is a shortcut to divorce. In reality, divorce and annulment are two different legal procedures. Divorce ends a marriage. Annulment states that a marriage was never valid to begin with.

Annulment, or as it is called in Illinois, “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage” is only possible if there is an issue with the marriage that makes the marriage invalid or prohibited by law.

What It Takes to Annul Your Marriage in Illinois

Posted on in Annulments

What It Takes to Annul Your Marriage in IllinoisIn most situations, the only way to end a marriage is to divorce your spouse. However, you may be able to annul the marriage if you can prove that it was never valid. The advantage of an annulment is that you will not have to divide your properties or pay spousal maintenance because the marriage never legally existed. The disadvantage is that there is a deadline to request an annulment and you will have to put more work into arguing why your marriage should be annulled. With a divorce, you only need to prove irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse. With an annulment, you must prove one of the following conditions:

  1. Lack of Consent: A marriage is invalid if one of the parties was unable to legally consent to the marriage. This could be because you were intoxicated or mentally incapacitated when agreeing to the marriage or if you were married under duress or fraudulent circumstances. Once you realize that your marriage lacked your consent, you have 90 days to get your marriage annulled.
  2. Underage: A person cannot legally marry in Illinois if they are younger than 16. People age 16 and 17 must receive permission from their parents before they can marry. Either the underage person or their parent can request an annulment, as long as it is before the person’s 18th birthday.
  3. Incapable of Sex: A spouse can request an annulment if they learn after they were married that their spouse is incapable of having sexual intercourse. The keys to this type of annulment are filing within a year of learning and proving that you did not know before your marriage that your spouse could not have sex.
  4. Already Married: You cannot legally marry someone if they are already married and have not yet dissolved that marriage. There is no time limit to annulling an illegal marriage such as this. If you can prove that you did not know that your spouse was already married, the court may name you as a putative spouse, which would give you rights to property and maintenance.
  5. Incest: It is illegal to marry your ancestor, descendant, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew. You can legally marry your first cousin, but only if you are both at least 50 years old or you can prove that one of you is sexually sterile.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

An annulment is more difficult to receive than a dissolution of marriage, but the process after receiving an annulment is simpler than a divorce. Talk to a Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group about whether you may be able to annul your marriage. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


Deciding Whether Annulment Is Your Best Choice

Posted on in Annulments

Understanding the Advantages and Disadvantages to an AnnulmentWhile divorce is the most common way for married couples to legally separate, couples also have the option to annul their marriage. Annulment dissolves the marriage on the grounds that it is invalid, which can mean the marriage retroactively never existed. In Illinois, there are four categories that qualify for annulment:

  • If the marriage is illegal, such as incest, bigamy or being forced to marry under duress
  • If one party was mentally incapable of consenting to the marriage
  • If one party was unaware that the other party was incapable of having sexual intercourse
  • If one of the parties is younger than 18 and did not receive parental consent to marry

Even if you qualify for annulment, you should consider whether an annulment is your best option. There are advantages and disadvantages to getting an annulment instead of a divorce:


Difference Between Divorce and Annulment

Posted on in Annulments

annulmentjpgWhen one or both spouses want to end their marriage, they can seek a divorce. Legally, a divorce is a legal declaration that a valid marriage is over. A common misconception is that an annulment is a quicker or easier way to get divorced. In reality, an annulment is a legal order stating a marriage is not valid. In other words, it is a legal order that a legal marriage never actually existed. State law sets out very specific requirements for annulments, which can make it difficult to pursue. However, an annulment may be appropriate in some cases, and could benefit you if applicable.

Requirements for Annulment

Formally known as a declaration of invalidity, a legal order of annulment is rarely granted because of the strict legal limitations. Illinois law states that an annulment can be granted for one of the following reasons:

Back to Top