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Choose an Annulment to End Your Invalid Marriage

Posted on in Family Law

invalid marriage, DuPage County divorce attorneysIt is possible for a marriage to be considered invalid under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. When this is the case, a couple may end their marriage through a process known as annulment. Annulments are different from divorces for multiple reasons, the most important of which is that a couple's marriage must somehow violate the laws outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

It is important to contact an experienced divorce attorney to begin the annulment process. Annulments, like divorces, must go through the court system and be finalized by a judge. The process of completing an annulment is known as nullification.

Annulment vs. Divorce

The fundamental difference between a divorce and an annulment is simple: when a couple gets divorced, they complete the legal process of ending a valid marriage. The couple is eligible to divide their jointly-owned property and the lesser-earning spouse may seek spousal maintenance from his or her former partner. With an annulment, the couple's marriage is legally considered to never have happened. This precludes the couple from dividing their property and seeking spousal maintenance in many cases.

One key similarity between divorce and annulment is how issues of child custody and child support are handled. The child's needs always take top priority in a divorce case and regardless of the validity of the parents' marriage, the factors that affect child support and custody play into the court's ruling regarding the child's care.

Grounds for Annulment

A marriage must violate the laws set forth in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to be eligible for annulment. The following reasons are grounds for annulment in Illinois:

  • One of the spouses was married to another individual at the time the marriage was performed;
  • One of the spouses could not consent to his or her marriage due to illness, the influence of alcohol or another drug, or other mental obstacles. This must be proved within 90 days of discovering the intoxication or mental illness;
  • Either spouse can not engage in sexual intercourse for any reason. When this is the case, the couple must seek an annulment within one year of their marriage;
  • The spouses are closely related, either biologically or through adoption;
  • Either spouse was younger than 18 years old at the time of the marriage and did not have parental permission to marry. When this is the case, the couple must seek an annulment before the underage spouse's eighteenth birthday; or
  • Either spouse was forced into the marriage, either through coercion or threat of harm. The marriage must be annulled within 90 days of discovering this problem.

Divorce Attorneys in DuPage County

If you find your marriage is not legally valid, consider seeking an annulment. Our team of capable DuPage County divorce attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can help you through this often difficult, confusing process. Do not stay in an invalid marriage. We can help you end your marriage and continue your life with a clean slate.

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