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Can I Declare My Marriage Invalid?

Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County family lawyers, marriage invalidThere may be circumstance that lead a couple to request that a court declare their marriage invalid. Invalidity of marriage, commonly known as annulment, is a different process than divorce. A court will only declare a marriage invalid under the specific circumstances; it is important to speak to a skilled attorney if you are interested in pursuing this option.

When is a Marriage Invalid?

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a court may find a marriage invalid if it was entered into under one of the circumstances below:

  • One party did not have the ability to consent at the time of the marriage. This lack of capacity can be due to mental incapacity, drug or alcohol abuse, or because one party entered into the marriage against this or her will (eg. the other party used force);
  • One spouse is not able to engage in sexual intercourse because of a physical condition and is unable to consummate the marriage;
  • One spouse was under age and did not have parental consent or judicial approval to marry; or
  • The marriage is prohibited by the law.

Timelines for Declaring a Marriage Invalid

There are important timelines in place for requesting for your marriage to be declared invalid. For marriages that involve a lack of the capacity to consent, a request must be made 90 days after the requestor becomes aware of the described condition. Where the request is based on the inability to consummate the marriage, the request must be made one year after the person making the request becomes aware of the condition. For a couples married while underage, the underaged spouse, or their parent, has until the time when the underage person reaches the age at which they would have been able to legally marry without consent to file a request.

What Happens to Child if My Marriage is Invalidated?

An important consideration is what may happen to children the couple’s children once the marriage is declared invalid. Children born or adopted during the marriage will become the legal children of the couple. This also applies to any children born after the marriage is declared invalid. Both parents will have the same legal rights and responsibilities as all other parents.

Let an Attorney Help

In some cases, a couple will need to declare their marriage invalid. This can be complicated, confusing, and frustrating for both spouses. It can be even more complicated if children were born during the marriage. If you believe your marriage should be declared invalid, please contact the DuPage County family lawyers at Davi Law Group, LLC. We can provide you with information about the process and help you make the best decision for your family. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.



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