Divorce is the most common way to end a marriage, but it’s certainly not the only option. For example, an annulment is another way to dissolve a marriage. Below, we take a closer look at the annulment process in Illinois.
Annulment in Illinois
Similar how “alimony” is a commonly used term that Illinois doesn’t officially recognize (the actual term is spousal maintenance), the state does not officially have an official court action called an “annulment of marriage.” Instead, the actual term Illinois uses is called a “judgment of invalidity.” We will use these two terms interchangeably below, but just keep in mind that we’re talking about the same thing.
A divorce and an annulment are two ways of ending a marriage, but they vary significantly in how the marriage is or isn’t viewed by the state. When a couple gets divorced, the state recognizes it as a separation after a marriage. When a judgment of invalidity is granted, the state essentially says that the marriage was never valid in the first place, and therefore no marriage ever took place.
Grounds For An Annulment in Illinois
The state doesn’t typically grant a judgment of invalidity, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Here are the grounds for an annulment in Illinois:
- One party lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage at the time marriage was recognized, or they were forced into the marriage. Mental incapacity can be from the inability to comprehend their declaration of intent, or because one party was under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances at the time of the marriage.
- One of the parties committed fraud by their unwillingness to disclose relevant criminal history or by their unwillingness to consummate the relationship with intercourse.
- One party lacked the physical ability to consummate the marriage. This is only a valid option within one year of the marriage date.
- One party was under the age of 18 and did not receive consent from their parents or guardian, or they did not get approval from the judicial system.
- A person married a close blood relative.
- One party was married to another person at the time of the marriage in question.
Naperville Annulment Lawyer
If any of these reasons pertain to your situation and you are considering ending the marriage, you may have grounds for a judgment of invalidity. For assistance on how to pursue an annulment in Illinois, give us a call at (630) 717-7801.
Keep in mind, a judgment of invalidity is different from a religious annulment. Depending on your faith, you may be required to pursue a religious annulment in order to get remarried in the eyes of your church.