An annulment is an eraser to a marriage that, for whatever reason, should have never happened. The process asks the Court to render a marriage invalid.
There are four reasons to have a marriage annulled in Illinois: the inability to get married; the lack of capacity to consummate the marriage; someone was under the age of 18 and did not have permission; and, the marriage is prohibited. You have a very, very limited time to bring such an action. If someone lacks capacity to get married, this has to be brought within 90 days of the ceremony. Otherwise, it has to be brought within a year of the spouse wanting to have it annulled finding out what the condition was.
A lack of capacity to be married could include the inability because a spouse was under a guardianship, like Britney Spears was. Or, one of the spouses coerced or forced the other one. Coercion and duress are tricky subjects and it is really hard to prove.
The consummation one is pretty easy. I’ll just leave it right there.
To get married before the age of 18, either a parent has to consent, or a judge does. It has to be real consent - and if a parent will not give it, a judge will ask hard questions. Aaliyah, when she married R. Kelly, did not have consent probably. Her marriage could have been annulled.
Prohibited marriages are bigamous ones usually. If Husband’s divorce has not been finalized, he cannot get remarried. If, somehow he does, he is not married to his new almost-spouse. The other person could annul the marriage, as a person cannot have more than one spouse at a time. However, the new spouse would have to file this within a year of learning of the Husband’s inability and before the first divorce is granted.
Simply put, annulments are rare and the process can be extensive and complex. If you guys have been married for years/decades and only now decided you wanted an annulment, a divorce in Illinois may be your only option. But if the circumstances fit, my office has done them and would I willing to help you as well. If you want to see if your marriage can be annuled, contact me