Getting married is a major decision that should not be taken lightly. However, even the most cautious individuals can find themselves in a marriage that they regret. Whether you were pressured into marrying by a well-meaning relative, you misjudged the situation, or you were just acting impulsively, regretting a marriage is an unfortunate situation to find yourself in.
If you recently wed and you regret it, you may wonder if you can get the marriage annulled instead of ending the marriage through divorce. Perhaps you have heard a rumor that a marriage can be annulled as long as it is not “consummated,” meaning the couple has not had sexual intercourse yet. Read on to learn about the criteria for annulments in Illinois and what you should do if you regret saying “I do.”
How Can You Get Your Marriage Annulled in Illinois?
Annulments are only available in very specific situations. In Illinois, a marriage may only be annulled if it is invalid – regardless of whether the couple has had sexual relations or not. In fact, annulment is technically called a “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage” in Illinois.
Per Illinois law, you may qualify for annulment if at least of the following is true:
- You or your spouse are physically unable to have sexual intercourse, and the other spouse did not know this before the marriage
- You or your spouse were underage and did not have parental consent. You must be 18 to get married in Illinois. You can get married at 16 or 17 if you have permission from a parent or guardian.
- You or your spouse could not consent to the marriage due to drug or alcohol intoxication or mental defect.
- The marriage was a result of coercion, force, or fraud.
- The marriage was prohibited by law because the spouses are close relatives or because one spouse was already married to someone else.
Time Limitations for Annulments
Even if you meet one or more of the above criteria, your petition for annulment must be submitted within a certain timeframe. For example, if you allege that you were coerced into getting married or got married under duress, you only have 90 days to petition the court for an annulment. If you want to get an annulment because your spouse cannot have sexual intercourse, you have one year after learning of the inability to file for an annulment.
If your situation does not fit into the above criteria, you may not qualify for an annulment. However, this does not mean that you are trapped in the marriage forever. You can still file for divorce.
Contact a Palatine Family Law Attorney
Annulments in Illinois are rare. If you are unsure of whether your situation qualifies you for annulment, contact Illinois family law attorney Nicholas W. Richardson for help. He can evaluate the circumstances of your marriage and determine whether the marriage may be considered invalid. If your marriage does not qualify for an annulment, he can help you divorce so that you can move on with your life. Call the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. at 847.873.6741 for a free consultation.