The Differences Between Divorce and Annulment

In some circumstances, the annulment of a marriage can be sought instead of a divorce. The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that a divorce ends the marriage, but an annulment declares the marriage never happened. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/301), the court has the power to determine and make it as though the marriage never occurred. However, getting an annulment is more complicated than getting a divorce. It applies only in particular situations.   Lack of Capacity to Consent If one or both of the individuals who were married, lacked the mental capacity to consent to marriage, it can be annulled. This includes if the individuals were drunk, on drugs, or any other substance that mentally impaired them at the time of their wedding (think a late-night Las Vegas ceremony). The parties can reasonably claim afterward that they did have the capability to consent to the union. In such a case, the annulment must be…

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