IL divorce lawyerPeople make mistakes and sometimes, that mistake is marrying the wrong person. When one or both people think getting married was a mistake, they often wonder if they can obtain an annulment instead of going through the complicated process of divorce. Couples are more inclined to think this when they have been married for a very short period of time.

Annulments are only available in very limited situations in Illinois. However, for couples that are ineligible for an annulment, there is another option that is sometimes a possibility. That is a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. So, what are the differences, and how does a couple qualify for either? Find out below.

Eligibility for an Annulment

The Illinois statutes do not actually refer to the word ‘annulment.’ Instead, the term ‘declaration of invalidity of marriage is used. To declare a marriage invalid is to say that it is void and essentially makes it as though the marriage never happened. Declaring a marriage invalid is only done under certain circumstances, which include:

  • One party did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage at the time they were married
  • One person did not have the capacity to physically consummate the marriage
  • One party was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the marriage and judicial nor parental consent was given
  • The marriage is prohibited by law, such as when two close relatives marry each other

Clearly, it is very difficult to obtain an annulment in Illinois. However, another solution is sometimes available in the form of a joint simplified dissolution of marriage.

Eligibility for a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Even though most couples have to get a divorce when they want to end their marriage, the process does not have to be long and drawn out. A joint simplified dissolution of marriage is often easier and faster for both people involved. To obtain this type of divorce, a couple must meet the following requirements:

  • Both spouses must agree to all terms of the divorce
  • Both spouses must file the divorce paperwork and appear in court together
  • One spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of 90 days
  • The marriage must have lasted for eight years or less
  • The marriage could not have resulted in children
  • The couple cannot own real estate
  • The couple cannot hold joint retirement benefits
  • The retirement benefits owned by either spouse must not equal more than $10,000
  • Neither spouse can earn more than $30,000 a year
  • The spouses cannot earn over $60,000 collectively per year
  • Neither spouse can rely on the other for support
  • Each spouse must waive their rights to maintenance
  • The spouses must agree on how to divide property

When a couple meets the above requirements, they can obtain an uncontested simplified joint divorce instead of an annulment if they do not qualify for one.

Our Divorce Lawyers in DuPage County Can Help with Your Case

If you need to end your marriage, our skilled DuPage County divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can advise on your case. We know the options you have available to you and will explain them all to help you determine which one is right for you. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.