In some cases, you may be able to approach the court and have your marriage declared invalid instead of filing for divorce. This is commonly known as an annulment, though the law no longer refers to it this way. There are a number of situations in which Illinois divorce law allows for this to happen.
Inability to Consent
A marriage may be declared invalid under the law if either one of the two parties lacked the ability to consent at the time the marriage took place. This may be due to mental incapacity or disability, or the effects of alcohol, drugs, or other substances. A party can also be declared unable to consent to the marriage if they are under pressure or being forced to marry.
Inability to Consummate
The second of the acceptable grounds for a judgment declaring the marriage invalid occurs when one party is unable to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse. In order to be valid, the person’s partner must have been unaware of the inability at the time the marriage occurred.
If one of the parties in the marriage was 16 or 17 at the time of the marriage, it may be declared invalid. This is only true if the child did not have the consent of their parent or guardian, or judicial approval at the time the marriage took place.
Navigating the divorce laws in Illinois can be confusing, even without all of the emotional upheaval that can occur when filing for divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce and would like to know if it is possible to declare your marriage invalid, contact one of our qualified Illinois divorce attorneys right away. We can help you understand where your case falls under the law and ensure that you are fairly represented in any court proceedings.