2100 Manchester Road, Suite 908, Wheaton, IL 60187

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube

Call Today for a Free Consultation

Call Us630-364-4046

Wheaton | St. Charles

What Is the Difference Between Divorce and Annulment in Illinois?

 Posted on January 30, 2024 in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce LawyerWhenever a couple regrets being married, divorce is a very common option available to them. However, if they can meet certain criteria, annulment can also be a relevant possibility. As it is a less common procedure, people are generally less familiar with what exactly an annulment is. Divorce legally ends a marriage, while annulment legally deems it invalid and therefore not something that needs to be ended. As such, there are specific conditions that need to be met for a marriage to be annulled rather than ended by divorce. If you and your spouse do not want to stay married, a Wheaton, IL, divorce lawyer can explain what is involved in an annulment and help you decide whether this might be the right step for you.

What Are the Criteria for Annulment?

While divorce legally ends a valid marriage, an annulment is how the courts in the State of Illinois declare a marriage invalid. The court can issue a declaration of invalidity of marriage and then it is as if the couple was never truly married to begin with.

A marriage can only be annulled if certain criteria are met. Otherwise, the couple will indeed need to go through the process of divorce. The criteria for annulment are:

  • If either spouse lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage at the time that it was solemnized. The law explains that this criterion is met if either spouse experienced mental incapacity at the time; was under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or got married under force or duress.

  • If either spouse has some condition that makes them physically unable to consummate the marriage through sexual intercourse, but kept that from the other spouse at the time of the marriage.

  • If either spouse is too young. In the State of Illinois, you need to be 18 years old to legally get married on your own, and you can also do so if you are 16 or 17 but have your parents’ consent. If you were younger than 18 without parental consent, or younger than 16 in general, you were legally too young to get married and the marriage would therefore be considered invalid.

  • Marriage is prohibited. Certain relationships are legally prohibited from getting married. This category includes incest (specific relatives that are not allowed to wed each other) and bigamy (one person is not allowed to be married to more than one person at the same time).

Schedule a Free Consultation with a DuPage County, IL, Annulment Attorney

If you wish you were not married, a knowledgeable Wheaton, IL, divorce lawyer can review your case and explain whether you meet the criteria for an annulment. If not, we can help you end your marriage through divorce. Regardless, at Goostree Law Group, we will fight passionately for your best interests. Call us at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.

Share this post:
Back to Top