Most people in Illinois probably have a good understanding of what a divorce entails. However, in some cases, a marriage may not be considered valid. Ending this type of relationship is done legally through an annulment. In Illinois, the ability to seek an annulment is dependent upon specific circumstances outlined under the law. According to Illinois General Assembly, there are four strict standards of which at least one must be true of the union. These standards include the following:
- The marriage was prohibited.
- One of the individuals was unable to consummate the union due to physical issues that the other person did not know about.
- One of the parties lacked the mental ability to consent or one of the couple was under the age of consent and did not have parental approval.
A declaration of invalidity will not be granted if one of the people die, except in the case of illegal unions.
The ability to request an annulment may be granted to each person involved, a legal representative, a legal spouse, a child or a parent, depending on which standard is being used to seek it. There are also time limits within which the request must be made. Illinois Legal Aid explains that an illegal union would be one where the people are closely related or where one is already legally married.
In addition, any marriage annulled is not recognized at all by the state. This means that financial issues, like property division and spousal support, are often avoided because the situation is considered to have never occurred. An exception to this is if one of the people was married but the other person didn’t know. The spouse who unwillingly entered into the illegal union will have the same rights as a legal spouse for property and support.