Address 1200 Harger Road, Suite 830, Oak Brook, IL 60523
630-472-9700Available 24/7
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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Wheaton annulment attorneyAn annulment provides couples with a way to dissolve a marriage in some circumstances. Like a divorce, an annulment ends the legal partnership of marriage between two people. However, unlike a divorce, an annulment declares the marriage invalid, essentially erasing the existence of the marriage as a whole. While many going through a divorce may wish their marriage never happened, not all couples can obtain an annulment. In Illinois, there are several instances and time limits in which one can receive an annulment (known under Illinois law as a declaration of invalidity of marriage):

  • One or both spouses could not consent to be married. Reasons why a spouse may not have been able to consent include mental disability, the influence of alcohol or drugs, or the use of force or duress. The time limit for an annulment due to lack of consent is 90 days, and this type of annulment can be sought by either spouse or by the legal representative (such as a parent or guardian) of a spouse who lacks the mental capacity for consent.
  • One spouse is unable to consummate the marriage through sexual intercourse, and this was unknown to the other spouse before the marriage. The time limit for an annulment for this reason is one year from when the condition became known.
  • One or both spouses were under the age of 18 and lacked consent from a legal guardian. These marriages can be annulled by the minor or by their parent or guardian before the minor turns 18 years old.
  • The marriage was illegal. In Illinois, marriage to kin or to someone who is already married is prohibited. In these cases, an annulment may be sought by either party or their children, by the legal spouse of a person who is already married, or by the state of Illinois, and they may do so at any time before three years have passed since the death of one of the spouses. 

One of the most common reasons couples seek an annulment is for religious purposes. Under the rules of the Catholic Church, one cannot get married “in the eyes of the church” if they have been previously married. Those who believe in Catholicism must receive an annulment of their previous, thus labeling the marriage “null and void,” in order to get married in the church to another person.

Contact a DuPage County Annulment Lawyer

The annulment process begins with a petition to the court which will need to provide ample evidence to support the reason(s) the marriage should be made invalid. The timing of the petition is crucial, since an annulment will be denied if the marriage extends outside of the time parameters listed above. When obtaining an annulment, it is important to work with an experienced Oak Brook family law attorney, since the process is detail oriented and dependent on the specific details of your marriage. At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we have extensive experience with the annulment and divorce processes. Contact us at 630-472-9700 to schedule a free consultation and learn how you and your spouse can obtain an annulment. 


Cohabitation in Illinois

Posted on in Family Law

IL family lawyerNowadays, many more couples in Illinois are electing to simply live together or cohabitate, rather than getting married. This suits some much more, as a cohabiting relationship can simply be ended when one or both parties feel like it, without the time and trouble of a divorce. However, there are decided negatives to living together without the protection of being in a marriage. Either way, couples should understand the ramifications of foregoing marriage and/or living in a cohabiting relationship lest they get into a situation where they have no protection.

Property Rights

One issue that can be significant if a cohabiting couple splits up is that of property rights. A married couple who decide to divorce receive the benefit of Illinois’ equitable distribution laws, which hold that upon a divorce, all marital property will be divided “in just proportions” while considering a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, the current and future earning potential of each spouse, and any alleged dissipation of marital assets (not in the sense of punishing for misconduct, but in the sense that it would be unjust to reward any waste of assets). A cohabiting couple has no “marital” property and as such, no real law to fall back on other than the simple axiom that whoever purchased an asset will, in many situations, own it.


Each year, more than one third of all children born in the United States are born to unmarried parents. While certain cities and states deal with higher out-of-wedlock birth rates than others, the numbers indicate that, nationally, nearly 1.5 million sets of parents must legally establish paternity for their child in order for the child's father to be granted parental rights as set by law. With those rights, obviously, comes responsibilities as well, as establishing legal paternity also requires the father to contribute to the support of the child, often in the form of financial child support.

Paternity in Illinois

Under Illinois law, legal paternity converts a "putative," or alleged, father of a child to the child's legal father, with full parental rights and requirements. Statutorily, there are several ways in which a father's legal status can be secured:


mediation processAn excellent tool to use during the divorce process, mediation can be implemented at virtually any point in the case, but can be especially beneficial in the beginning stages of divorce.

What is It?

Mediation is a process in which individuals come together outside of court to try to arrive at an agreement with the help of a trained third party, the mediator. In divorce cases, the parties are the two divorcing spouses alone with the mediator, both getting time to voice their own concerns and goals regarding certain issues in the divorce. Many couples choose to attend mediation to settle certain issues rather than leaving them up to a judge. In the beginning of a divorce, mediation can be used to settle issues peacefully, before animosity has time to build. If the parties are able to come to an agreement on a particular issue, that agreement will be put in writing by the mediator so that the attorneys can present it to the judge for formal approval.


How Divorce Affects Your Taxes

Posted on in Family Law

taxes during divorceAs a married individual, you have the right to file your taxes jointly with your spouse. This brings various benefits, such as opportunities for greater charitable deductions and a shorter, less stressful filing process.

When a couple begins the divorce process, however, issues related to filing their taxes can arise. Although they are technically still married as they work out the terms of their divorce, many couples find it difficult to discuss how they will file their taxes and avoid doing so. The discussion of tax filing can also become just another headache to work through during a process that is already stressful for both parties.

If your divorce is not finalized by December 31st., you are considered to be married for that year and may file your taxes jointly, separately, or separately while still claiming married status. You may also claim "head of household" status if you qualify.

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