Can I Get an Annulment in Illinois?

September 25, 2022

Annulment in Illinois: Is It the Right Option for You?

Unlike a divorce ending an existing marriage, an annulment in Illinois erases the marriage as if it never happened. Illinois law is strict. There are only four specific reasons for an annulment:

  1. Lack of Capacity to Marry: This means one spouse was mentally unable to understand the marriage, perhaps due to being under guardianship or being forced into the marriage against their will.
  2. Inability to Consummate: This requires one person to be unaware of the other’s inability.
  3. Underage Marriage Without Consent: Illinois requires those under 18 to have parental or judicial consent to marry. Without it, the marriage can be annulled.
  4. Prohibited Marriage: Think bigamy – if someone’s still legally married to another person, their new marriage is automatically invalid.

Time is Crucial

You don’t have forever to file for an annulment in Illinois. The deadlines are:

  • Lack of capacity: Action must be brought within 90 days of the wedding.
  • Other reasons: Within a year of the spouse seeking annulment discovering the issue.

Proving Your Case

Annulments aren’t granted easily. Situations like duress or forced marriage are particularly difficult to prove unless everyone agrees.

Examples Help Clarify

  • Britney Spears: Her high-profile conservatorship would have likely invalidated a marriage, making an annulment possible.
  • R. Kelly & Aaliyah: Aaliyah’s marriage without proper consent, due to being underage, could have been annulled.
  • The Bigamist: If a husband attempts a second marriage before his divorce is final, this new marriage is legally void, open to annulment.

Annulment in Illinois vs. Divorce – What’s the Difference?

Annulments are rare. If you’ve been married for a substantial time, a traditional divorce may be your only course of action in Illinois.

Need Guidance?

Navigating annulment in Illinois is a complex. If you believe your marriage qualifies for annulment, don’t waste precious time. My office helps clients understand their options and pursue the best path, whether that’s annulment or a different solution. If you want to see if your marriage can be annulled, contact me

Disclaimer: The content within this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney regarding their individual legal circumstances and options.