Annulment Attorneys

Ending a marriage is never easy, and when the circumstances of the union raise questions about its validity, the process can become even more complex. The legal path you choose to end your marriage can significantly impact your future. While divorce is the most common route, an annulment might be the better option, depending on your situation. Our Quad Cities annulment attorneys can guide you through the legal intricacies of annulments, ensuring you understand your options and navigate the process smoothly. 

If you’re seeking an annulment or want to review your legal options when ending a marriage, call the Quad Cities family lawyers Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham at (309) 794-1515 to schedule a free case consultation.

Quad Cities annulment

What Is an Annulment? 

The annulment of marriage applies to a “void” marriage, which was not a marriage from the onset. It is often called a “void ab initio” or “void from the beginning” marriage. Unlike a divorce, which dissolves a valid marriage, a Quad Cities annulment declares the marriage never legally existed. Depending on your location, annulment laws vary. One of our Quad Cities annulment attorneys can help you determine if you have a valid case for an annulment.

Annulment Laws in the Quad Cities

The Quad Cities area straddles the border between Illinois and Iowa, so the annulment laws will differ depending on which state the marriage was performed in and where you reside. 

Annulment in Illinois

  • In Illinois, an annulment is referred to as a Declaration of Invalidity.
  • It declares a marriage invalid, meaning it never legally existed in the first place.
  • There is a one-year time limit for filing for an annulment based on fraud or duress, but there is no time limit for filing for an annulment based on other grounds.
  • Grounds for annulment are stricter than for divorce and typically involve the marriage being illegal from the start due to:
    • Bigamy: one or both spouses were already married to someone else at the time of the marriage.
    • Forced consent: one or both spouses were coerced or threatened into marriage under duress.
    • Fraud: one or both spouses agreed to the marriage based on lies or misrepresentation of the other (e.g., hiding a criminal record, pretending to be debt-free).
    • Marriage prohibited by law: marriage between close relatives (incest) or individuals who are legally unable to marry (e.g., under the age of consent).
    • Mental incapacity: one or both spouses lacked the mental capacity to understand the nature of marriage and consent to it due to mental illness, developmental disability, or intoxication.
    • Inability to consummate the marriage: physical inability to have sexual relations due to a medical condition or impotence.

Annulment in Iowa

  • To seek an Iowa annulment, you must file a “Petition for Annulment.”
  • There is no time limit for filing for an annulment. However, it is best to file as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less likely the court will grant the annulment. 
  • Grounds for annulment in Iowa include:
    • Illegal marriage, such as incest, bigamy, lack of parental consent, and mental incapacity
    • Impotence

If you have a valid reason for an annulment or need help determining one, we can help. Our Quad Cities annulment lawyers have helped numerous clients seek and successfully obtain annulments in Illinois and Iowa.

How Can Quad Cities Annulment Attorneys Help Me? 

Understanding your options empowers you to choose the right path when considering an annulment. This is a process you do not want to attempt alone. Luckily, an experienced Quad Cities annulment attorney can guide you through it and ensure a favorable outcome. 

Your lawyer will: 

  • Assess your situation and advise whether you have a valid case for annulment.
  • Gather evidence to establish your case, advise on necessary evidence, and help you obtain it. 
  • Protect your rights and assets regarding property and negotiate a fair outcome.
  • Advise you on potential tax consequences and help you minimize any burdens. 
  • Negotiate with your spouse if an agreement cannot be reached. 

Annulment FAQS

The process of seeking an annulment is confusing, so our Quad Cities annulment lawyers have gathered the FAQs below.

How is a Quad Cities annulment different from a divorce?

Divorce acknowledges a valid marriage’s termination, while annulment states it wasn’t valid from the start. This means, legally speaking, it’s as if the marriage never existed.

Why choose an annulment?

There are many reasons why someone might choose an annulment over divorce, including: 

  • Potentially avoid spousal support
  • Simpler property division
  • Symbolic closure
  • Avoiding legal consequences like bigamy charges
  • Religious considerations

What happens to shared property and inheritance in an annulment? 

Since an annulment is retroactive, meaning the marriage is considered void from the start, shared property or inheritance rights can be impacted. Your Quad Cities annulment attorney will review your case and determine the best course of action regarding your property. 

Can I file an annulment if I have children? 

Yes, you can file an annulment if you have children. Your lawyer will navigate possible child custody and support agreements and advocate for your children’s well-being.

Do I have to be married for a short amount of time to get an annulment?

Contrary to popular belief, a marriage may not be annulled simply because it is extremely short. Marriages of all durations, even those decades-long, can be annulled. Short marriages may not be automatically annulled. Anyone can file an annulment, provided they have valid grounds.

Contact Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham Today 

Choosing the right attorney to handle your annulment is crucial with the emotional and legal complexities involved. When a marriage’s circumstances raise questions about its validity, you need a knowledgeable, experienced Quad Cities annulment attorney to protect your rights, provide emotional support, and ensure the ideal legal outcome. 

Our attorneys can help you access all the facts to determine if an annulment of marriage is the proper action to pursue. Schedule your free consultation today to see if a Quad Cities annulment is right for you. You can reach us 24/7 by phone at (309) 794-1515, via LiveChat, or by filling out our contact form.