In Illinois, an annulment is called a "declaration of invalidity of marriage". It is a court order declaring that a marriage is not valid, and should not be recognized by the state. An annulment is different from a divorce because a divorce is a legal declaration that a valid marriage is over.
In Illinois there are five reasons for a marriage annulment. The grounds declaring a marriage invalid specified under Illinois law (and the time limits by which a case must be filed) are:
- Coercion or duress (the classic "shotgun wedding"). Within 90 days of learning of the condition
- Mental incapacity (either due to mental deficiencies or the influence of alcohol or drugs). Within 90 days of learning of the condition.
- Fraud. Under Illinois' annulment law, the term "fraud" refers to a fraud involving "the essentials of the marriage." That generally means the ability to have kids and has nothing to do with representations as to wealth or social standing. Within 90 days of learning of the condition.
- Physical incapacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse (and the condition must have existed at the time of the marriage the other spouse must not have been aware of this condition). Within one year of learning of the condition.
- One party was 16 or 17 and did not have parental (or a guardian's) consent nor judicial approval. Prior to the minor's 18th birthday.
- The marriage is otherwise prohibited (parents marrying children, aunts marrying nephews, same-sex marriages, etc.). At any time or, by a child of either party within 3 years of the death of the first party to die.
A petition for declaration of invalidity for a void marriage may be filed by either party, the legal spouse in case of a bigamous marriage, the State's Attorney, or after the death of one of the parties, a child of either party, at any time not to exceed 3 years following the death of the first party to die.
For more information on Annulments, Family law and Divorce in the DuPage, Cook, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Kendall and Will Counties or within Illinois, contact Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices at (630) 932-9100 or visit their website at www.mevorahlaw.com.
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