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Wheaton, IL marriage annulment attorneyAnnulments are often associated with celebrity marriages gone wrong or last-minute Las Vegas weddings. However, there are many situations that may cause a person to seek an annulment. Unlike divorce, annulling a marriage makes it as if the marriage never took place. Not every marriage is eligible for annulment, however. If you are interested in having your marriage annulled, make sure you understand the criteria for annulment in Illinois. Next, contact an experienced family law attorney for help.

What Is the Difference Between Divorce and Annulment?

When a married couple wants to end their marriage, they typically file for divorce. A divorce, or Dissolution of Marriage as it is called in Illinois, terminates the legal relationship between the spouses. The couple may need to resolve issues such as property division, child custody, or spousal maintenance before the divorce can be finalized. Annulment, on the other hand, is not the termination of a marriage but instead the assertion that a marriage was never lawful to begin with. This is why annulment is referred to as a “Declaration of Invalidity” in Illinois law. In order to be granted an annulment, there must have been some issue with the marriage that made it invalid.

When Is a Marriage Considered Invalid?

There are several issues that may cause a marriage to be invalid. In Illinois, individuals may only marry if they are 18 years old or older, or, if they are 16 years old or older and have parental permission. If a spouse was under the age of 16 at the time of the marriage or was under the age of 18 and did not have the needed parental permission, the marriage is invalid. Marriages between close relatives are also prohibited by Illinois law. 

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DuPage County child support attorney special needs disabilitiesChild support payments allow unmarried or divorcing parents to share child-rearing expenses in a way that is fair and reasonable for both parties. Illinois child support payments are determined by the Income Shares model. This model takes into account each parent’s income as well as the amount of parenting time he or she will have with the child. The Income Shares child support calculation method is typically used unless there is a reason that following the Illinois child support guidelines would yield an inappropriate child support payment amount.

Child support payments typically terminate when a child becomes an independent adult, but there are some situations in which child support may be extended. If you are a parent of a disabled child, read on to learn about your options for special needs child support.

What Counts as a Disability?

Children with disabilities may need financial assistance even when they reach the age when child support would typically end. If your child has a disability, you have the option to petition the court for non-minor child support. An intellectual incapacity, mental health disorder, or physical disability may quality an adult child for non-minor support. Illinois law defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activity.” In order for the child to qualify for non-minor support, the disability must have been present before the child reached the age that child support payments would have otherwise terminated. 

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DuPage County divorce lawyer irreconcilable differences

If you are considering divorce, you may have heard about the different “grounds” or reasons that a person can give when seeking to dissolve their marriage. Traditionally, these grounds have included an identification of which spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Of course, marriages end for a wide variety of reasons, and identifying a specific cause for the failure of the relationship is not always easy. Sometimes, a couple simply grows apart or stops being in love with each other. Updates to Illinois law have now taken this reality into consideration with regard to the grounds for divorce.

Previous Illinois Grounds for Divorce

Before major changes were made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), anyone wishing to get divorced in Illinois would need to identify grounds for their divorce. These grounds included several “fault” grounds which included but were not limited to:

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Wheaton property division attorney

When you are going through a divorce, you are not only separating from your ex-spouse, but you will also need to split up the assets you own together. Depending on the length of the marriage, it can be difficult to untangle your shared assets and determine who should keep what property. Here are some basic rules for how marital property is divided in Illinois:

Marital Property

During a divorce, Illinois courts only have the authority to divide up marital property. Marital property is defined as property or assets that were obtained during the marriage. Inheritances or gifts that were given only to one spouse and assets obtained before the marriage or after legal separation are considered separate assets that are not eligible for division during the divorce. However, marital and separate property may not always be so easy to define. If an asset that would have been considered separate property was used by both spouses, or if it was “commingled” with marital property, the court may consider it to be a marital asset. For example, if you earned money before your marriage but transferred it into a joint account, then it may be considered marital property.

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Wheaton divorce attorneyCan you blame your divorce on where you live? In most cases, the answer is “no;” divorce and place of residence do not usually correlate. However, if you live in Illinois in any of the ten cities listed below, your likelihood of getting divorced may be higher than for those in some of your neighborhood counties.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the number of divorced people in Illinois is close to 1,000,000 people. Throughout the United States, there are over 28 million people who are divorced. Note that the census defines “divorced” as people whose divorce has been finalized (not including married couples who are separated) and who have not remarried. Illinois is actually one of the states with the lowest divorce rates; at a rate of 9.7%, it falls below the national divorce rate of 10.9%

In Illinois, the city with the highest divorce rate is East Alton, a village in Madison County. The top 10 cities in Illinois with the highest divorce rates are as follows:

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