Annulments and Divorce in Illinois

annulment process, annulments, dissolution of marriage, divorce, Illinois annulment, Illinois state lawMany residents of Illinois live under the false notion that should they be unhappy in their marital state, divorce is the only option available to dissolve the marriage. Fortunately, for many, this is not always the case and sometimes obtaining an annulment to invalidate a marriage is a great alternative. And although the terms divorce and annulment are often used synonymously, they are in fact different.

In a divorce you legally have a start and end date for your marriage. However, an annulment actually makes the union completely void and literally treats it as if the marriage had never occurred at all, thus rendering the marriage null and void.

Annulments are not applicable in every Illinois marriage, and are subject to a specific set of criteria designated by legislation. These lines can become blurred in many cases, making it incredibly important to consult with a professional family law attorney before proceeding.

Under Illinois state law, a marriage can be annulled if it meets any of the following parameters:

  • A marriage may be annulled if it took place under fraudulent circumstances such as in the case of material misrepresentation, physical or mental incapacitation, duress, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol;

  • A marriage may be annulled should one party not disclose their physical or emotional inability to (a) consummate the marriage, or (b) a medical condition rendering them impotent; and

  • A marriage may be annulled should there be issues with consent at the time of the marriage, such as the spouse was not of legal age and did not have documented permission by parents and guardians, or else from the court system itself.

While in some aspects the specificity the laws afford can make the annulment process clear, there are also ambiguities and hurdles to overcome. Proving knowledge can be especially difficult, and will often involve testimony or depositions from third parties. In addition, there are other legal obstacles to overcome as well–specifically regarding time.

Each criteria for an annulment in Illinois has it is own set of regulations. These include the following:

  • In the instance of a consent issue, the dispute must be filed within 90 days from the date the knowledge was obtained;

  • Should the issue be sexual in nature, a party has one year from the disclosure of the condition to begin the process; and

  • If one party is underage, then the party has until they reach the age of consent to request an annulment.

Of course every individual case will have its individual issues and nuances, which is why you should always consult a reputable and professional family law attorney when dissolving your marriage. Contact an Aurora family law attorney at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams today for any and all your family law needs.

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