Marital Misstep: Understanding the Legalities of Seeking an Illinois Annulment

For the majority of couples entering into the bonds of matrimony, the wedding day represents new beginnings with fresh hopes of a loving and successful life-long union. But for some, it may mean the beginning of legally dissolving what appears to have been a serious marital misstep. For those experiencing marital remorse in Illinois, the legal recourse for an annulment or a legal judgement declaring the invalidity of a marriage is fully defined and sanctioned under Section 5, of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS).

The first step in determining legal recourse for a possible annulment is to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Illinois family law attorney, but in the interim, the following summary may provide beneficial insight into the legalities of correcting a marital misstep.

Annulment or No-Fault Divorce?

In some instances it may be easier to file for a no-fault divorce than to obtain an official declaration of annulment as Illinois law and proceedings are very similar in both cases.

Petitioning for a non-fault judgement may be less expensive and quicker to achieve and is viewed as functionally identical, with the only major difference resulting in name only.

Whatever legal recourse is recommended by a qualified Illinois family law attorney, one can expect to undergo the same judicial determinations when it comes to division of marital property or determination of spousal or child support as an annulment of a marriage does not dismiss parental or spousal support responsibilities.

Illinois Annulment Qualifications

Under Illinois statute, anyone who can legally petition for a divorce can also file for an annulment if able to prove a violation of Illinois guidelines for grounds of annulment.

Parents of minors who married without parental consent are also able to seek an annulment of the marriage up until the minor’s 18th birthday.

Grounds for an Annulment

As each state has its own directives or grounds serving as permissible qualifiers for annulment, Illinois requires that at least one of the following three criteria have been met:

  • One party is physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other spouse non-privy to this information at the time of the marriage;
  • One party was not of legal age at the time of the marriage and was void of parental consent; or
  • One party was medically or psychologically unable to voice consent or consent was achieved under duress or one party defrauded the other prior to the marriage such as felony conviction.

For those able to prove any one of these three grounds, an Illinois annulment may be obtained. If not, Illinois law requires a petition of no-fault divorce as a means to rectify the marital misstep.

If you have questions whether an annulment is your best legal recourse, the experienced Hinsdale family law attorneys have the answers. Contact our offices to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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