Annulment in Illinois: What Are The Grounds For Having A Marriage Annulled?

Author: Don Pioletti Posted on: . Filed in: Divorce.

A divorce and an annulment are two different actions under Illinois law. You can end a marriage through divorce proceedings; however, you may also be able to void a marriage with a “declaration of invalidity.” With a divorce, the marriage bond is severed and the parties go their separate ways. However, with an annulment, the parties go their separate ways but it is as if the marriage never occurred. The party’s marital status will be returned to “single” rather than “divorced” because in the eyes of the law, the marriage was never valid. An annulment is a process and it must follow the requirements set forth under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

If you believe your marriage violates the marriage laws of Illinois, contact the experienced divorce lawyers at Pioletti & Pioletti. The process to have a marriage annulled is known as nullification and it is not as simple as some people assume. You need a qualified attorney who understands the requirements for an annulment under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

Grounds for an Annulment in Illinois

In order for a marriage to be eligible for an annulment, the marriage must violate Illinois marriage laws. Below are the reasons for an annulment according to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

  • Bigamy – One of the spouses was married to another party at the time of this marriage.
  • Close family member – The spouses are closely related such as first cousins or siblings either through adoption or biologically.
  • Lack of capacity – One spouse lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage when the parties were wed due to coercion, duress, drugs, alcohol, physical illness, or mental illness. The spouse requesting the annulment must prove the lack of capacity within 90 days of discovering the incapacity.
  • Lack of ability to consummate the marriage – If either spouse cannot consummate the marriage through sexual relations with the other spouse for any reason, the marriage may be annulled within one year of the date of the marriage.
  • Age requirement – The marriage may be annulled if either spouse was under the age of 18 years at the time of the marriage and did not have parental consent to marry. However, the party must seek the annulment before the underage spouse’s eighteenth birthday.

Effect of Annulment on Alimony and Child Support

It should be noted that in an annulment, the marriage is considered invalid; therefore, an annulment typically prevents either party from seeking spousal support or an interest in the other person’s property. However, if a child is involved, the child’s best interest will always take priority when determining child support and child custody. The factors that would normally affect child custody and child support will still apply in an annulment.

Contact Our Office for a Consultation with an Experienced Illinois Annulment Attorney

The divorce attorneys of Pioletti & Pioletti represent individuals who need assistance with divorce, annulment and other family court matters. We assist clients throughout McLean, Woodford, Tazewell, and Peoria counties by providing compassionate, competent legal services. Contact our office at 309-938-4838 to schedule your free consultation.

When you need the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer in central Illinois, call Pioletti & Pioletti. We are dedicated to providing our clients exceptional service and support throughout the divorce or annulment process.


Don Pioletti

Don Pioletti

Don B. Pioletti, Jr. was born on August 2, 1946 in Washington, Illinois. He graduated from Eureka High School and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Eureka College in 1970. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War and then graduated from George Mason University Law School in 1976. He served as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General and as an Assistant State’s Attorney. From 1990 until July of 2014 he served as the Woodford County Chief Public Defense Attorney.
Don Pioletti