Can You Get Your Marriage Annulled in Illinois?
When we think of newlyweds, we typically imagine happy couples joyfully embarking on their marriage relationship. Unfortunately, for some spouses, the days, weeks, and months after the wedding are fraught with regret. If you got married and then realized that the marriage was a mistake, you may be eager to end the relationship. You may wonder whether you can get your marriage annulled. In Illinois, annulment is possible, but only under certain conditions. Married couples who do not meet the criteria for annulment must end their marriage through divorce.
Illinois Law Regarding Annulments
An annulment is referred to as a “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage” in Illinois law. Annulments are often portrayed in pop culture as a shortcut to getting divorced. However, divorce and annulment are two completely different legal processes. Divorce ends a marriage. Annulment, on the other hand, declares that a marriage was never valid in the first place.
Your marriage may be annulled if at least one of the following are true:
- One or both spouses did not have the mental clarity to consent to the marriage. This inability may be due to mental incapacitation or mental illness, drugs, or alcohol.
- A spouse was forced or coerced into the marriage against his or her will.
- The marriage is prohibited by law. In Illinois, close relatives and individuals who are still legally married to someone else are forbidden from marrying.
- One or both spouses was underage. In Illinois, you must be 18 years old or older to wed. Individuals aged 16 -17 may marry with the consent of a parent or guardian.
- The marriage was entered into through fraud. For this to be a viable ground for annulment, the fraud has to involve the “essentials of marriage.”
- A spouse is unable to have sexual intercourse, and the other spouse was unaware of this inability at the time of the marriage.
Furthermore, annulments are subject to time restrictions. If you are seeking annulment because you did not consent to the marriage, you have 90 days to petition for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage. You have up to one year if you are seeking annulment due to a spouse’s sexual incapacity. If you or your spouse were underage, you have until your eighteenth birthday to seek an annulment.
If none of the preceding statements apply to you, you still have the option to end your marriage through divorce.
Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney
If you recently got married, but you want to end your marriage, contact a Wheaton family law attorney from MKFM Law to discuss your options. We can help you determine whether you meet the criteria for annulment and petition the court for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage. If an annulment is not possible, we will help you end your marriage through divorce. Call 630-665-7300 to schedule your confidential consultation today.