Want to Get an Annulment? Here is What You Need to Know

IL divorce lawyerSometimes a person that is married wants out of the relationship, but they do not want to get a divorce. In some cases, a person’s religious beliefs prevent them from getting a divorce, but there are many reasons a person may wish to annul their marriage. Although annulments are granted in Illinois courts, this method of dissolving a marriage has specific requirements and when those are not met, a couple must go through the divorce process to end their marriage. Although the process of annulling a marriage is vastly different from the divorce process, anyone wishing to obtain an annulment should still speak to an Illinois family lawyer.

The Difference Between Divorce and Annulment

Many people think that divorce and annulment both mean the same thing because each of these terms refers to the end of a marriage. However, they do each have their differences.

When a couple gets an annulment, it is as though the marriage never happened because it was not legal in the first place. It is for this reason that an annulment is known as a “Declaration of Invalidity Marriage” under Illinois law.

Divorce, on the other hand, recognizes that there is a marital relationship that is recognizable by the courts and that at least one person in the marriage wishes to end. There are a number of terms that must be decided on during a divorce, including property division and spousal maintenance. These terms do not apply to annulments. After an annulment is granted by the courts, each partner walks away with whatever assets they had when they entered into the relationship.

Determining Invalidity

Annulments are not often granted by the Illinois courts. Typically, when someone wants to end their marriage in the state, they must go through the divorce process. However, when a person can show that their marriage was invalid, they may seek an annulment. The reasons for invalidity in the state are:

  • One spouse was too young: Illinois law states that individuals can only marry if they are 18 years of older. The only exception to this is when a person aged 16 to 18 wants to marry and they have parental permission. When these conditions are not met, or a person marries when they are under the age of 16, the marriage is not valid.
  • Close relatives: Illinois law also prohibits close relatives, such as a brother and sister, from marrying each other.
  • No legal consent: Individuals must enter into a marriage willingly for it to be considered valid. If an individual does not have the capacity to provide consent due to intoxication, coercion, fraud, or force, the marriage is not considered valid.
  • Consummation: When one spouse cannot consummate the marriage, and their partner was not aware of that at the time, the marriage can be considered invalid.

Need an Annulment? Our Illinois Family Lawyers are Here to Help

Neither the annulment nor divorce process is easy. If you need to end your marriage and are unsure of which method to use, our skilled Hinsdale family lawyers are here to help. At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our knowledgeable attorneys can advise on your situation and help you through whichever process is appropriate for your situation. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.




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