Divorce/Annulment

Providing Chicago divorce solutions since 1995

Divorce/Annulment (Declaration of Invalidity) and Legal Separation

Divorce is the process of legally ending your marriage.  When the divorce is final, you will have divided your property and debts and will also have addressed any issues with respect to your minor children.  If you have college-age children, the issue of contribution to college expenses will likely be addressed.

In addition, your divorce may also involve the issue of alimony or spousal support, which is now called maintenance.

Some divorces are simple whereby the parties are able to reach a complete agreement on their own and will even represent themselves. Some spouses may attend mediation to assist them in reaching agreements. In that case, it is still usually a good idea for each spouse to have a lawyer. Divorces are also often contested with lengthy and costly proceedings.

The only basis for obtaining a divorce in Illinois is irreconcilable differences.  “Fault” grounds have been eliminated and except in very rare circumstances, behavior by one spouse or the other during the marriage does not come into play.

Annulment

Annulment is referred to as a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage. This is an infrequently used process whereby one spouse will seek to have the marriage declared invalid on one or more of several specified grounds, i.e. a spouse lacked the capacity to enter into the marriage or a spouse entered into marriage by force, duress or fraud involving the essentials of the marriage. Because the grounds for obtaining a declaration of invalidity of marriage must be proved, and are often difficult to prove, this is a rarely used remedy.

Legal Separation

This is also a rarely used remedy. If one spouse seeks a legal separation, there is nothing to prevent the other spouse from seeking a divorce. The circumstances where we see an action for legal separation are usually limited to a situation where there are religious barriers to divorce, a spouse must stay on the other spouse’s health insurance or because certain rules regarding government pensions will result in the surviving spouse losing the pension benefits if the parties are divorced

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