Illinois Marriage Annulment

Illinois Marriage Annulment

Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311 – Illinois Marriage Annulment FAQs

What are the basics of an Illinois Marriage Annulment?

Annulment is not the same as a legal separation. Rather, it’s a way that two people with an invalid marriage can legally dissolve that marriage. For the legal system to declare a marriage as invalid, it can be due to reasons like bigamy or impotency. Additional reasons could be when one spouse enters the marriage while they were unable to give consent because of a mental illness, alcohol use, drug use, being underage or coercion. An annulment is not subject to divorce laws in the state of Illinois, but they’re subject to specific legal requirements.

In the state of Illinois, annulment is also known as a Declaration of Invalidity. The court can annul a marriages only when it meets the qualifications of an invalid marriage. Invalidity represents a marital relation that is illegal from the beginning. Annulments establish an official record that the marriage was actually not valid to start with.

What are the differences between annulment and divorce?

Illinois Marriage Annulments are generally more complex that many people may think at first. A divorce can actually be relatively easier to get because annulments have firm requirements and time limitations. Plus, divorces are simply more common. Typically, an Illinois Marriage Annulment is not “better” than getting a divorce. A common reason why people obtain an annulment rather than a divorce is to prevent court-ordered payments. For instance, such as when the court orders a couple to divide their assets or one of the spouses to pay the other.

Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311 – Illinois Marriage Annulment

Divorce and annulment are comparable in that they set a determination regarding marital status. A key difference between them is the validity of the marital status. The courts recognize divorce as a legal separation of a valid marriage. An annulment, on the other hand, is a legal procedure that declares a marriage invalid and erases it completely. Another difference involves the grounds upon which spouses can file. For instance, the state of Illinois lists 11 grounds for filing a divorce and four grounds for marriage annulment. Grounds for divorce include drug and alcohol abuse, adultery, conviction of a felony or infection from an STD. Annulment grounds are an underage spouse, intoxication at time of marriage or the inability of a spouse to consummate the marriage.

Circuit courts process divorce and annulments in the county in which either of the spouses reside. After a divorce completes, the court sets both spouse’s responsibilities and rights with respect to child custody, child support, property division and alimony. The court, similarly, decides custody arrangements and support at the end of an Illinois Marriage Annulment process.

For courts in Illinois to declare a marriage as invalid, the relationship has to be in violation of the law, of public policy or both. The state recognizes four primary grounds for granting an annulment: illegality, lack of proper consent, underage without parental consent or the inability to consummate the marriage. When a judge declares that a marriage is invalid, a Judgment of Invalidity annuls it. The time limitation to request an annulment depends upon the basis for seeking the annulment.

Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311

A valid basis for an annulment in the state of Illinois can be:

-One of the spouses couldn’t grant consent on account of a mental disability, being under duress or due to the influence of alcohol or drugs.

-One of the spouses cannot take part in sexual intercourse and the other spouse was unaware of the fact at the time of marriage.

-One spouse at the time of marriage was under 18 and didn’t have parental consent.

-The marriage is in fact illegal because of the couple’s close familial relation.

-One spouse was married already to another individual at the time of marriage.

-An Illinois Marriage Annulment must be sought within 90 days of when an issue is identified. In the event a marriage does not consummate, the court can only grant annulment when one spouse was not aware of the other spouse’s condition during the marriage and seeks an annulment within 365 days of identifying the condition. With respect to underage spouses, an annulment must be sought before the underage person turns 18. In the event an Illinois Marriage Annulment is requested after an underage spouse turns 18, only a divorce may dissolve the marriage.

Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311

To legally obtain an Illinois Marriage Annulment, the process must start with the filing of a Petition for Annulment at a circuit court of the county that you and/or your spouse resides. This isn’t an official form, but is instead a type of document that you must file to give an adequate explanation of why the marriage is, indeed, invalid. The court serves the petition to your spouse. Consequently, your spouse may or may not – consent to it. After you submit the Petition for Annulment to your appropriate circuit court, a judge evaluates it to verify whether or not there are grounds to grant the annulment. If you are able to get a judgment declaring invalidity, the legal system considers you to be a single person and therefore free to marry in the future.

To proceed with an Illinois Marriage Annulment, the following steps are required:

-Take note of the “statutes of limitations” that affect one’s ability to request a judgment of invalidity, and speak with a lawyer. If you’re considering asking the court to void your marriage, our law firm can help steer you through the process. It’s important to be proactive because in many instances you might have only 90 days to seek Illinois Marriage Annulment.

-Submit a Petition for Annulment with the clerk of the circuit court that details why a judgment of invalidity ought to be granted. Also, provide relevant facts about your spouse and any children you have together. The state doesn’t provide a template form, so it’s up to the petitioner to draft the document. The county clerk can date-stamp the petition, officially enter it into the record and accept the filing fee.

Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311

-Your spouse receives notification and can either accept or dispute your position. This must occur within a certain length of time. Typically, the limit is about 30 days depending upon your jurisdiction. The system calls this an Answer to the Petition for Annulment.

-Attend a court hearing for your Petition for Annulment. Both spouses must attend. It’s permissable to present witnesses and evidence to show the marriage is invalid. Be certain to reply truthfully to any questions from the judge. The judge frequently will make a decision at the hearing’s conclusion. However, the judge retains the option to keep the case open for some time for additional evidence or testimony.

-If the court does decide your marriage is invalid, you will receive a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage that the judge signs. The county clerk enters that decision in the public record. The result from then onward is that technically you were never legally married.

Contact the Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo to learn more about Illinois Marriage Annulment. We will protect your rights and work hard to protect your best interests.