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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.

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