Is it Simpler to Get an Annulment Rather Than a Divorce in Illinois?

b2ap3_thumbnail_time-limit-annulment-illinois.jpgCommon sense would make you think an annulment—which declares the marriage never existed—would be simpler, but this is not necessarily true. Divorce is by far simpler to obtain since irreconcilable differences can be used as the grounds in most cases. Beginning in 2016, irreconcilable differences will be the only grounds available for any divorce in Illinois.

Are There Time Limits On The Grounds For Annulment In Illinois?

Yes. 750 ILCS 5/302

Several weeks ago on this blog, I talked about the various grounds for annulment, or “declaration of the invalidity of marriage.” While the end result may be the same, the grounds are not necessarily considered equally, and provisions particular to each generally apply. The law provides only a certain window of opportunity to petition for annulment, a timeframe that is dependent upon the grounds cited in the petition.

90-Day Time Limit

If you are seeking an annulment on the grounds that you lack the capacity to marry, then a time limit of 90 days applies from when you became aware that:

  1. You lacked the capacity to agree to a marriage because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  2. You were mentally impaired at the time of the marriage; or
  3. You were forced into the marriage.

One-Year Time Limit

To petition for an annulment on the grounds that your spouse cannot have sexual intercourse with you, you must file your petition within one year of discovering the problem. If, however, you were aware of the issue before you got married, your annulment is unlikely to be granted.

Time Limit of Reaching Age 18

You may pursue an annulment on the grounds that you were younger than 18 years old at the time of the marriage and did not obtain parental consent or court approval. Without such consent or approval, you could not be legally married in Illinois. The petition for annulment, however, must be filed before you turn 18 or the court may presume your legal consent to the marriage.

If you would like to learn more about pursuing a “declaration of the invalidity of marriage,” commonly known as an annulment, contact our office for a free consultation today. Our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys can help you take the necessary to steps toward a better, more stable future.

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