What are the Grounds for Annulment?

In Illinois, we call an annulment a "declaration of invalidity of marriage." These are court orders stating that the marriage was always invalid and should not be recognized by the state at all.  They are given for only a few select grounds:

  1. One of the parties could not consent to the marriage at the time of the wedding.  This includes mental incapacity, drug use, alcohol intoxication or perhaps some other factor that would prevent the person from understanding he or she was about to be married.
  2. Force or duress.
  3. One party is incapable of sexual intercourse and the other party was not aware at the time of the wedding.
  4. One party was under eighteen years old and proper consent and court approval was not obtained.
  5. The marriage is prohibited by law, for reasons such as bigamy or consanguinity.

If any of these are an issue for you, I would strongly advise you to consider an attorney when filing for your divorce.  A party can only ask for annulment in a very brief window of time after learning about any of these grounds, so it is very important to act quickly.