Rather than Divorcing, Can I Get My Marriage Annulled in Illinois?

b2ap3_thumbnail_annulment.jpgWhat is an annulment?

An annulment is known as a "declaration of invalidity of marriage" in Illinois law. It is a type of civil Court proceeding. An annulment is begun by a Husband or Wife filing a Petition for Invalidity of Marriage in an Illinois Circuit Court. Based upon sufficient proof of grounds for an annulment, an Illinois Domestic Relations Judge may enter a Judgment of Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage. In effect, a Court Order is entered finding that your marriage was not valid from the very beginning. In making such determination, the Judge finds that, for most purposes of the law, your marriage never legally existed. 750 ILCS 5/301

A divorce, on the other hand, also known the dissolution of marriage, recognizes that the marriage is valid. Upon consideration of proof of one of the divorce grounds allowed under the law, the Court may dissolve the marriage and enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage, commonly referred to as a divorce decree.

What Do I Need To Prove To Have My Marriage Annulled?

There are four reasons or grounds upon which an Illinois Court can base its decision to grant you an annulment - or as stated in Illinois Law a “declaration of invalidity”:

  1. You could not consent to be married due to a mental disability, the influence of drugs or alcohol or due to force, duress or fraud;
  2. Your spouse is permanently unable to have sexual intercourse. You must not have been aware of this at the time of the marriage;
  3. You were under the age of 18 years and did not have the consent of one of your parents, your guardian, or an Illinois court; or
  4. The marriage was prohibited by law. Prohibited Marriages.

For more information regarding annulments or divorce, contact our office today.

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