Deciding Whether Annulment Is Your Best Choice

 Posted on March 24, 2017 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:


The primary advantage to getting an annulment is simplifying the financial disputes. If a marriage legally never existed, then the two sides are not financially bound to each other. This includes:

  • Division of property. Each property will be returned to the party that acquired or legally owns it.
  • Spouse support. Alimony is not available after an annulment, though child support payments may be required.

There may also be a religious advantage. If your religion looks unfavorably at divorce, an annulment may be a more acceptable option to others in your religious community.


The aspects that make annulment financially advantageous to some could be a disadvantage to you, depending on your circumstances:

  • You have no financial right to property you previously shared if you are not the legal owner. For instance, if you do not share ownership of your house, your former spouse can sell or lease it without your permission.
  • Regardless of your financial needs or the resources of your former spouse, you will not be eligible to receive spouse support payments.

An annulment also does nothing to resolve issues of child custody and support. You will need to go to a separate court to determine guardianship of the child.

Annulment Guidance

It is up to you to determine whether an annulment or divorce is your best choice. An annulment is only valid if both parties agree to it. A Kane County family law attorney at the Goostree Law Group can help you make the decision and represent you, regardless of the option you choose. Call 630-584-4800 today to set up an appointment.



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