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Naperville Divorce Lawyer annulment In some circumstances, the annulment of a marriage can be sought instead of a divorce. The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that a divorce ends the marriage, but an annulment declares that the marriage was invalid and should never have happened. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/301), the court has the power to determine and make it as though the marriage never occurred. However, an annulment will only be available in particular situations:

Lack of Capacity to Consent

If one or both of the individuals who were married lacked the mental capacity to consent to marriage, it can be annulled. This includes if the individuals were drunk, on drugs, or intoxicated by any other substance that mentally impaired them at the time of their wedding (think of a late-night Las Vegas ceremony). The parties can reasonably claim afterward that they did not have the capability to consent to the union. In such a case, the annulment must be sought within 90 days to void the marriage.

Coerced into Marriage

If one participant in the wedding entered into the union while under duress, the marriage may be annulled. In these cases, there is also has a 90-day time limit after learning of the conditions for annulment.

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Naperville divorce and legal separation lawyerMarriage is a legal union between two people, but when one or both of those people no longer wish to be in the marriage, they may feel it is necessary to get a divorce. However, there are other steps couples may take besides divorce, depending on their situation. In some cases, couples may choose legal separation or annulment. If you are considering ending your marriage, it is important to know the difference between legal separation, annulment, and divorce. 

Legal Separation

Couples who are considering a permanent split may separate for a time if they are trying to work through their differences. However, this is not the same as a legal separation. Legal separation is an agreement or decision that is specifically put in place by the court. It outlines the rights and obligations of each person in the relationship until further action is taken. Legal separation is not necessary if couples can agree on their rights and obligations while they are separated, but it can be a helpful step to take in case a disagreement arises over issues such as child custody, visitation, or property rights.

Annulment

Annulment, also known as a judgment of invalidity, is the legal process of declaring that a marriage is not valid, essentially saying that the marriage never existed at all. A marriage may be annulled in Illinois if one partner did not consent to the marriage, was already married to another person, or was under the age of 18.

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