What are the grounds for Marriage Annulment in Illinois?
Annulments are characterized as declarations of invalid marriages in Illinois. There are limited legal grounds for annulments which include specific legal requirements and strict deadlines for when petitions may be brought. Grounds include:
- Lack of capacity to consent to the marriage at the time it was solemnized because of mental incapacity, infirmity, being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other incapacitating substances, or inducement to marry by force, duress or fraud involving the essentials of marriage – which must be brought no later than 90 days after knowledge of the condition is first acquired;
- Lack of physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse at the time the marriage was solemnized and the other party did not know of the incapacity – which must be brought no later than one year after knowledge of the condition is first acquired;
- A party was aged 16 or 17 years and did not have the consent of his/her parents or guardian or judicial approval – which must be brought prior to the time the under-aged party reaches age 18; and
- The marriage is prohibited, as in the case of bigamy and marriages with immediate family members, for which there is no deadline.
Children born during a marriage that is annulled remain the lawful and legitimate children of the marriage. Marriages are deemed invalid as of the date of the marriage, unless the Court finds, after considering all relevant circumstances, that the interests of justice would not be served by making the judgment of annulment retroactive. This means that dissolution of marriage laws relating to the division of property and maintenance, or alimony, would ordinarily not apply.