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St. Charles, IL630-200-4882
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When is Annulment an Option in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

West Dundee Divorce Law Attorneys

People get married with high hopes for a bright future with their partner. Unfortunately, sometimes unforeseen problems arise during the first stages of marriage that make continuing the marriage impossible. Certain problems can be grounds for a special kind of termination known as “annulment.” 

Understanding whether an annulment is a good option requires an understanding of the difference between an annulment and a divorce. In this blog post, we will discuss annulments and the circumstances under which they are possible. Keep in mind that a qualified Illinois family law attorney is the best source for answers to your questions. 

What is the Difference Between Annulment and Divorce? 

While annulment may have a reputation as being useful to couples who got intoxicated and married in Las Vegas, the truth is more complicated. In reality, annulments are used when one or both spouses entered the marriage with a false or inadequate understanding of the other partner’s circumstances. 

Annulments may be obtained in Illinois when: 

  • One spouse had not reached the age of consent and did not have permission from their parent, guardian, or a court

  • One spouse could not consummate the marriage and hid this from their partner before the marriage 

  • One spouse could not consent to the marriage because they suffered from a mental disability that affected their understanding of the implications of getting married

  • One spouse coerced or manipulated the other spouse, or presented a fraudulent picture of their circumstances

  • One spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • The marriage was illegal, such as if spouses are too closely related or one spouse is already married 


Certain grounds for annulment have time limits that usually begin from the time the spouse learned about the problem. In contrast, spouses can get divorced at any time for any reason under the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” 

Although annulments must also address the issues of property and debt division, spousal support, and child-related issues, annulments are often completed shortly after marriage before these issues become more complex. Judges generally try to handle these issues in such a way that leaves spouses in a similar position after the annulment as they were before the marriage. Because the marriage is not considered valid, pre- and post-nuptial agreements do not apply. 

Get Help From a Geneva, IL Divorce Attorney

Pursuing an annulment is not always possible, but it may be the best option for some couples. If you recently got married and are facing unexpected challenges, an experienced St. Charles divorce attorney with Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C. can help you understand your options and determine the best way to end your marriage. Our attorneys provide a warm and welcoming environment so you can discuss your situation openly and without fear of judgment. Schedule an initial consultation by calling our offices today at 847-428-7725




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