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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Curious about Marriage Annulment In Chicago? Here Are Several Reasons Why Your Marriage May Be Annulled

Curious about Marriage Annulment In Chicago? Here Are Several Reasons Why Your Marriage May Be Annulled


Marriage annulment is a topic that, for most people, is probably not talked about very often. While most Chicagoans are aware to some degree about the basics of divorce, and have likely at least experienced one divorce through family, friends, or even from their own spouse, annulment is less common. However, annulment is an important topic within the sphere of Chicago marriage and dissolution of marriage laws because it is an option for ending a marriage when the facts fit. In fact, annulment may be a more advantageous option for some people, depending on the unique circumstances of their case. It is important for Chicagoans to understand what the difference is between annulling a marriage and getting a divorce, and some of the grounds for annulling a marriage.

Annulment vs. Divorce: What’s the Difference?

To start off, in both annulment and divorce cases there must first be a “marriage” between two people, and either one or both of those people wish to end that union. Under Illinois divorce laws, a divorce is appropriate when the marriage that was entered into was valid. On the other hand, a couple can seek an annulment of their “marriage” if the “marriage” itself was not valid to begin with. In this sense, an annulment is essentially a declaration that the marriage entered into was not a valid one, and the parties, therefore, can legally go their separate ways. Importantly, an annulment can potentially avoid court involvement in typical issues that come along with a divorce, such as the division of marital assets and property.

Grounds for Annulment in Chicago

In order to get an annulment, a marriage must first be invalid. The Chicago Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides guidance as to under what circumstances a marriage may be invalid in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Those circumstances include:

  • The marriage was entered into before a prior valid marriage was dissolved;
  • A marriage “between an ancestor and a descendant or between siblings, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption”;
  • A marriage between uncle and niece, uncle and nephew, aunt and nephew and aunt and niece;
  • A marriage between first cousins unless both cousins are over 50 years old and they certify that the party to the marriage is sterile and cannot have children;

Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other reasons, such as the age of the parties or procedural or clerical errors that occurred during the marriage process.

Help with an Annulment or Divorce in Chicago

If you are seeking an annulment of marriage or a divorce in Chicago, the skilled and experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux are here to help. The Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux handle both annulment and divorce cases and offer a consultation to learn about your case and to see if they can help you. Contact the law offices of Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux today and speak to a lawyer about your case.



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