Under Which Circumstances Can a Marriage Be Annulled in Illinois?

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Like most states, Illinois has its own laws and regulations that governthe distinct line between the divorce process and annulments. Despitemisconceptions popularized by media and religious institutions, civilannulments simply affirm that a marriage never existed in the eyes ofthe law. Conversely, divorce marks the end of an existing and valid legal union.

Illinois courts technically don’t offer “annulment of marriage”actions, but you can ask a judge for a “judgment of invalidity.”Legally, there is no difference between these two terms. A judgment ofinvalidity is a court order stating that your marriage is invalid perIllinois law. However, these are very rarely granted in Illinois exceptunder specific circumstances. If you’re interested in requestinga judgment of invalidity, you must first prove to the court that yoursituation warrants it.

Grounds for a judgement of invalidity include:

  • One spouse lacks the mental capacity to consent to marriage
  • One spouse was under the influence and unable to consent to marriage
    • A petitioner has 90 days to file for a judgment of invalidity for this situation
  • One spouse was forced, threatened, blackmailed, or coerced into marriage
  • The marriage is illegal because it is bigamous
    • A spouse, the Illinois State Attorney, or a child of either party can filefor a judgement on invalidity within 3 years of the first spouse’s death
  • One spouse hid the fact that they lack the ability to consummate the marriage
    • A petitioner has 1 year to for a judgment of invalidity for this situation
  • At least one spouse is under the age of 17 and failed to obtain legal orparental approval
    • A petitioner (the underage spouse or the underage spouse’s parent)must file for a judgement on invalidity before the underage spouse reachesthe legal age of marriage

If you’re interested in filing for a judgement of invalidity, it’simportant to first discuss your personal situation with a divorce attorney.Even though it’s technically an annulment, there could still befinancial and child custody matters that need to be addressed. Your nextstep is to file a petition with the clerk of the circuit court. Like adivorce, your spouse will be served papers by a process server or sheriff.

Have Questions? Schedule a Consultation

If you have questions or concerns about the divorce process or judgmentsof invalidity, contact the Illinois divorce lawyers at Wakenight &Associates, P.C. Our experienced legal team can evaluate your situationand help you determine which path is best for your family.

Call Wakenight & Associates, P.C.to schedule your free consultation. We have offices conveniently locatedacross the state of Illinois.

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