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Geneva family law attorney for annulmentThere are millions of married couples in Illinois and throughout the United States. However, not all marriages last. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. Many people may equate a divorce with an annulment or even a legal separation, but they are not the same thing. In a divorce, a couple will seek to dissolve a valid marriage. In an annulment, the marriage is ruled as invalid, as if it never happened. Some people assume that an annulment is easier to obtain than a divorce, but that is not always true. Annulments can have stricter requirements and time limits when compared to a divorce. If you are considering ending your marriage, it is essential that you hire professional legal counsel to fully understand your legal options.    

Declaration of Invalidity 

It is important to note that an annulment is not the same thing as a divorce or legal separation. When married couples legally separate, they live apart but are still technically married in the eyes of the law. An annulment is a way for two people who are in a fraudulent or invalid marriage to legally leave the marriage by essentially voiding it. A marriage can be deemed invalid for various reasons, including if one party was unable to consent to the union due to:

  • Mental illness
  • Substance abuse
  • Coercion
  • Incest
  • Bigamy
  • Inability to consummate the marriage
  • Being underage at the time of the wedding

A marriage can only be annulled if the court issues a Declaration of Invalidity. An invalid marriage represents an illegal relationship and is therefore not recognized by the state. 

Kane County divorce lawyersLegendary musician and songwriter Slash can finally enjoy some closure after a long divorce process. Unfortunately, it is at the cost of over $6 million. The rock star agreed to pay his former wife Perla Ferrar a $6,627,352 equalization payment. Additionally, he will pay $100,000 in spousal support and $39,000 in child support each month. The artist, whose real name is Saul Hudson, will also help support his children by contributing 1.8 percent of his income to the 16- and 14-year-olds. Hudson will keep ownership of his $1.92 million guitar collection.

A Long Journey to End a 13-Year Marriage

The decision for Hudson and Ferrar to split was not a recent one. The couple struggled with marital conflict for years. In 2010, Hudson filed for divorce and intended to leave Ferrar. The couple was able to reach a reconciliation two months later. Four years later in 2014, he filed for divorce again. This separation did end up being permanent. Hudson rekindled a relationship with an ex-girlfriend and moved in with her, signaling that the marriage was beyond reconciliation this time. However, it would be another four years until the marriage legally ended.

Accusations of Bigamy

Hudson accused Ferrar of bigamy because of issues related to her 1993 marriage to Carlos Marty. The rocker alleges that improper filing of divorce documents meant that Ferrar was still married when she married him. Hudson hoped that the error would mean that Ferrar did not have any legal right to his extravagant wealth and assets. However, because of complicated laws regarding putative marriages, or marriages considered legally invalid only due to a technical impediment, Ferrar was still awarded the multi-million dollar divorce settlement.

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