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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Understanding Marriage Annulment in Illinois

Posted on in Family Law

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. 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3000000&SeqEnd=3700000

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