The Chicago Family Law Blog

Annulment in Chicago

Annulment, like divorce, is a legal proceeding that ends a marriage; but most similarities end there. An annulment means that the marriage was never a legally valid marriage to begin with. The process actually is quite rare these days, but is available for situations where at least one of the partners has reason to believe the marriage was not valid in the first place. In Illinois, a marriage can be annulled if one of the partners is unable to consummate the union; if one of the parties is underage; if the marriage was conducted under lack of capacity (duress, fraud, infirmity, drugs, alcohol); or if the parties are blood relatives. After an annulment, both parties are free to marry others without going through the divorce process.

Those seeking an annulment in Illinois have 90 days after knowledge of a lack of capacity and one year after knowledge of inability to consummate the marriage. Since annulments are so uncommon, anyone who believes his or her marriage is not valid should contact an experienced Illinois family lawyer for a consultation.

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Getting An Annulment In Illinois

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Like divorce, annulment is the legal process for ending a marriage. But that's where the similarities end since annulment is only used to end an invalid marriage or one that "should not be recognized by the state," according to information provided by Illinois Pro Bono. Still, divorce attorneys in Chicago are qualified to answer questions you may have about annulments.

Annulments are rarely ever used in Illinois because it is much more difficult to prove grounds for annulment than for a dissolution of marriage (the legal term for divorce in Illinois), according to the Southern Illinois University School of Law (PDF).