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The Three Main Ways to End a Marriage in Illinois

 Posted on March 13, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerThere are many reasons why a couple might wish to end their marriage. While the state of Illinois takes marriage seriously, and there is a process that needs to be carried out for a couple to end theirs, ending it is a legally recognized possibility, and no one needs to feel stuck. Whether you or your spouse have changed in some way, or you realize you never should have gotten married in the first place, you certainly have legal options for putting an end to your marriage. This article will describe some of those, and an experienced DuPage County, IL divorce lawyer can provide more detail and advise you on which method might suit you best.


While it is the most commonly known way to end a marriage, divorce can also be the most complicated of the possible methods to go through. Depending on the unique circumstances of the couple, a divorce process can be one of high conflict and animosity or more amicable and collaborative. Several factors can affect how tense any given divorce will be, including:

  • Whether the couple has children
  • Whether they have a contested or uncontested divorce
  • Whether there is an income disparity
  • Whether you use divorce mediation

Once a divorce is finalized, you are legally recognized as no longer married.


Marriage can be ended with divorce. However, some marriages should not have been legally approved, to begin with, and these can be annulled, which essentially means canceled as if it never happened. It is a quicker process than divorce. Any of the following prohibited marriages can be annulled without the need for a divorce:

  • If either spouse is married to another person
  • If either spouse is younger than the legal marriage age at the time of the wedding
  • If the spouses are related to each other, aside from some cousin relationships
  • If either spouse was too ill or under the influence of drugs or alcohol to be able to consent to the marriage at the time of the wedding
  • If the marriage has not been consummated

Legal Separation

When a couple wants to break up but wants to avoid an actual divorce, legal separation can be a good option. Some couples are under too much pressure from family to divorce, some adhere to religious beliefs that oppose it, some feel that separation might be easier on their children than divorce. There are many reasons why divorce might not be the best option for some. When a couple is legally separated, although they may no longer live together, they are still considered legally married and cannot marry anyone else. If they decide later on to get divorced, they will need to go through the same divorce proceedings as any other couple.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Wheaton, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you want to end your marriage and you are not sure what is the best way forward for you, a DuPage County, IL divorce attorney can offer guidance. Call Fawell & Fawell at 630-871-2400 to schedule a free consultation.

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