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Can I Have My Marriage Annulled in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyer for marriage annulmentAlthough they are both ways to end a marriage, annulment and divorce are two completely different legal processes. Unlike divorce, annulment effectively cancels a marriage. Annulling a marriage declares the marriage invalid and makes it as though the marriage never occurred. There are a variety of reasons that a person may seek an annulment. It is important to remember, however, that only certain marriages are eligible for an annulment.

Annulment Cancels an Invalid Marriage

In Illinois, annulment is called a Declaration of Invalidity. The purpose of annulment is not to end a valid marriage, but to “undo” a marriage that was never valid in the first place. If a marriage does not meet the criteria required by Illinois law, the marriage may be eligible for an annulment. More specifically, a marriage can be annulled if one or more of the following conditions are present:

  • A spouse did not or could not consent to the marriage. If a spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the marriage was solemnized, the marriage may be declared invalid. A marriage can also be invalidated if a spouse lacked the capacity to agree to the marriage due to mental illness or intellectual disability.

  • A spouse was forced or coerced into the marriage.

  • The marriage is fraudulent. One example of a fraudulent marriage would be a marriage that only exists to circumvent U.S. immigration law.

  • One of the spouses cannot physically consummate the marriage, and the other spouse was unaware of this when the couple got married.

  • One or both spouses were under age 18 at the time the marriage was solemnized and did not have the required consent of a parent or guardian. Individuals under 16 years old cannot get married in Illinois.

  • The marriage was prohibited by law. Marriages between close relatives are not permitted in Illinois.

  • One or both spouses were already legally married at the time the marriage was solemnized.

It is important to note that a legal annulment is not the same thing as a religious annulment. Some religious organizations do not allow members to remarry. Only marriages that are invalid for some reason are eligible for a legal annulment.

Contact a Wheaton Annulment Lawyer

If you have reason to believe that your marriage is invalid, contact an accomplished DuPage County family law attorney at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. Call our office today at 630-462-9500 to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your legal options for ending your marriage.



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