We had earlier written about divorce in Illinois. And so now you know that it's not that easy. At the minimum you have to live apart for six months if you don't have a specific grounds to seek divorce, and in this case, both partners would need to agree. Otherwise, you have to wait two years.
However, some couples can seek to invalidate the marriage, thereby making the marriage invalid from the very start (negating the need for a divorce). Annulment of marriage in Illinois can be complicated and there are specific requirements for who can declare their marriage invalid and when.
Generally, a marriage can be declared invalid for the following reasons:
- Lack of mental capacity. You were not in the proper mind state to consent to marriage due to drug use, alcohol use, mental incapacity, fraud, or some other reason.
- Lack of physical capacity. Illinois is tough on impotence. If you can't (or won’t) consummate the marriage, this is valid grounds for either annulling the marriage or divorce.
- Age. You or your partner were 17 or under and did not have your parents' consent (or judicial approval) for marriage.
But even if you have a valid reason for annulment, your marriage can only be declared invalid if you bring an action within the proper timeframe:
- Lack of mental capacity: within 90 days of realizing that you did not have the mental capacity to get married.
- Lack of physical capacity: within one year after discovering the impotence.
- Age: an action may be brought by you or your parent any time prior to reaching the age of 18.
If you properly seek an annulment of marriage in Illinois, your marriage will be as if it never happened, erasing the need for divorce.
- Find a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Annulments - Overview (FindLaw)
- Aaliyah and R. Kelly: Illinois Marriage Laws and the Age of Consent (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)