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Annulment (Declarations of Invalidity of Marriage)

How short does the marriage have to be?

The length of the marriage does not determine if you qualify to get an annulment, which is now known in Illinois as a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage.

Marriages are not annulled (or invalidated) because the parties have been married for a short time and wish they weren’t, or if they feel they made a mistake. The court grants “Annulments” only when it determines that:

  1. a party did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage (mentally unable, intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, because of force or duress, e.g., shotgun marriages, or because of fraud involving the essentials of marriage;
  2. a party is physically unable to consummate the marriage (have sexual intercourse) at the time of the marriage and the other party did not know of the incapacity;
  3. a party was 16 or 17 years of age and did not have parental consent;
  4. the marriage is prohibited by another law(such as bigamy).

WARNING: Each of the above four grounds for invalidity of marriage has a different time limit (as in statute of limitations) in which a case must be filed.

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