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Annulment in Illinois: The Basics

Posted on in Divorce
Rather than get a divorce, some married couple decide to go down the path of annulment. Annulment in Illinois is defined as “a declaration of invalidity of marriage.”  If a marriage is annulled, it is no longer recognized by the state as valid.  Rather than ending a marriage, as divorce does, an annulment essentially erases the fact that there ever was a marriage. annulmentHere in Illinois, there are only four grounds for the annulment of a marriage. They are as follows:
  • A party was under the legal age at the time of the marriage and did not have the consent of a parent or guardian, or judicial approval
  • A party lacks the ability to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse (and the other party was not aware of it)
  • One party lacked the ability to consent to the marriage at the time of the ceremony due to mental incapacity or infirmity or the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • The marriage was not legal
In order to be considered not legal, a marriage would have had to be between people who were still married to someone else or people closely related by blood or adoption. There is a time limit for annulments depending on which ground you are basing it off of. If someone lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage at the time of the ceremony, the time limit to file for an annulment is 90 days after you learn about the problem. If one party was under the legal age at the time of the marriage, you have until that party turns 18. In the event that you discover your spouse cannot consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse, your time limit is one year. In the event that you find out your spouse was already married to another person, there is no time limit when filing for a divorce. Annulment may seem like a good option for some couples, but it is not for everyone. If you and your spouse are considering an annulment or divorce, don’t be afraid to contact an Illinois family law attorney to assist you with the process.
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