Help! We Got Married and It Is Terrible. Can We Get an Annulment?
Annulments are often used in an unserious light as the fodder of many alcohol-fueled Las Vegas wedding jokes. Yet the reasons for getting an annulment are important and necessary for many couples who find that their marital arrangement is not what it seemed to be.
To begin with, it is important to note that there is technically no such thing as “annulment” in Illinois. Rather, couples seeking to annul their marriage for specific reasons can ask an Illinois judge to declare the marriage invalid. For some couples, this is an appropriate and available step. For other couples, however, a declaration of invalidity is not an option and a divorce is necessary - even for very brief marriages. To learn more about when a declaration of invalidity of marriage is an option, read on.
When is a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage an Option?
A marriage can only be declared invalid when it was entered into under false pretenses. Spouses who get married and then quickly find out they are not compatible are usually not eligible for a declaration of invalidity and must instead get a divorce. Invalidity of marriage may be declared only for the following four reasons:
- One spouse is unable to consummate the marriage, knew this, and hid it from the other spouse before the wedding.
- One spouse was not yet 18 and did not obtain consent from their parents, legal guardians, or an Illinois court.
- One spouse was under the influence of mind-altering substances, had a mental disability, or was subject to fraud or coercion and therefore could not consent to the marriage .
- The marriage was illegal for any other reason, such as bigamy (when a spouse is already married to someone else) or a close biological relationship (such as first cousins under the age of 50).
Seek a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage Quickly
If you meet one of the above circumstances, getting your marriage declared invalid must be done within certain time limits. The time limits are dependent on the reason for the declaration. For example, if a spouse could not consent to the marriage, the petition for a declaration of invalidity must be done within 90 days. If a spouse is incapable of having sex, the declaration of invalidity must be filed within a year. Your individual circumstances will help you determine how you should act and when, and a skilled divorce lawyer can help.
Meet with a Kane County Divorce Lawyer
Even when couples enter into marriage with the highest hopes, marriage does not always work out once the rubber hits the road. If you need to end your recent marriage as quickly and cleanly as possible, call an experienced St. Charles, IL divorce attorney. You can schedule a free consultation today and learn more about your options over the phone or in person by calling us at 630-584-5550.