DuPage County invalid marriage attorneyIf you got married fairly recently and you and your spouse are starting to experience some serious problems, you might be thinking that your marriage was a mistake. Maybe you and your spouse did not quite know each other as well as you thought, or maybe the things about your spouse that you once found endearing are no longer as appealing now that you are married. Many couples who find themselves in such a situation may consider filing for divorce, but some give thought to the idea of seeking an annulment. After all, they were not married very long, so an annulment can just undo the marriage, right?

Under Illinois law, an annulment does not simply “undo” a marriage. In fact, what used to be called an “annulment” is now known as a declaration of invalidity of marriage, and it is only available under very specific circumstances. Simply being unhappy with your spouse is not among them.

Understanding Annulments in Illinois

Part III of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) addresses the action of declaring a marriage invalid. Illinois law no longer refers to this action as an annulment. There are stringent grounds on which a marriage can be declared invalid. These grounds include:

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Posted on in Annulment

annulment, Wheaton family law attoreyAnnulment is a legal procedure which “nullifies,” or cancels, a marriage. In the state of Illinois, annulment is called a “declaration of invalidity of marriage”. A marriage which has been successfully annulled is not recognized by the state any longer. Legally, an annulment makes the marriage as if it never happened. This process is much different from a divorce and is only available in certain circumstances.

Who Qualifies for Annulment?

In Illinois, there are only four lawful reasons someone can annul their marriage:

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Posted on in Annulment

annulment, Wheaton family law attorneysUsually, when two people marry and decide that it was a mistake, they simply file for divorce. However, in some situations, they opt instead for an annulment. There are many reasons that people wish to obtain an annulment, but in truth, the requirements are very strict. Divorce is easier to get, but sometimes, an annulment may suit your purposes better. It is a good idea to understand the difference between the two.

Requirements for an Annulment

There are only four valid reasons to obtain an annulment (otherwise known as a declaration of invalidity of marriage) in Illinois, as opposed to a divorce. They are:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois marriage laws,Divorce is not the only way to end a marriage. In certain limited circumstances, a marriage can be dissolved through an annulment. An annulment is a powerful judicial decree since it declares that no valid marriage ever existed. While an annulment does not generally affect the rights of any children born to the couple prior to the annulment, having a marriage declared invalid through annulment can affect any division of any property the couple acquired during the “marriage” and generally will prevent one party from receiving spousal support from the other.

The Difference between Void and Voidable Marriages

There are two types of marriages that can be annulled: void and voidable. A void marriage is one that is illegal from its inception and cannot be rectified. A voidable marriage, however, is one that is invalid at the moment of marriage but that can later be made valid through the consent or inaction of the parties. In other words, if an annulment is not promptly sought, it might not be available later.

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