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When is divorce not the right way to end a marriage?

It’s hard to admit sometimes when a marriage has neared its end. People’s feelings can change, and the practicalities of living together or raising children under the same roof may change as well. Illinois law allows for spouses to divorce with or without the full cooperation of the other spouse. But, in some cases, divorce is not the right legal choice.

  • How can a person end a marriage without divorce?

The main reason that divorce is not the proper way to dissolve a legal marriage is if a marriage was not legal in the first place. There are a few circumstances in which someone was not legally permitted under Illinois law to wed, and the spouses in those situations do not need to file for divorce.

  • What are the circumstances that could invalidate a marriage?

A marriage may be considered invalid, and therefore, annulled if one partner did not have full control of his or her faculties when entering into a marriage. This is usually due to mental incapacity, either temporary or permanent. There is another technicality, in which one party cannot consummate the marriage and did not inform the other. Marriage may also be prohibited due to age.

  • What about the children of an invalid marriage?

The minor children remain the legal offspring of both parties, including when parents may remarry after the annulment. Parents and other spouses who are concerned about the legality of their marriage may consult an attorney about petitioning the court for a decree. No one should have to deal with the consequences of ending a marriage on their own.

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