What 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.