The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


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Different Ways of Ending Marriage Explained

 Posted on February 23,2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerMarriage is a major step in anyone’s life, but sometimes, people take that step before they are truly ready. Perhaps they felt pressured by their family, tradition, society, culture, or the person they were dating, but when someone enters a marriage before they are ready to do so, it can sometimes spell disaster. The good news is that an unhappy or unhealthy marriage is not a life sentence and there are ways to get out of it, and divorce is only one of them. If you are married and no longer want to be, you should consult a Batavia, IL divorce attorney to find out what your options are.

How to End a Marriage in Illinois

Based on the specific circumstances of your marriage, you might go in one of three main directions to end your marriage:


This is likely the most commonly known method for ending a marriage, but it can also be one of the most complicated processes to go through, depending on your dynamic with your spouse. Several factors can increase or reduce the amount of tension you might experience in your divorce. These include whether you have a contested or uncontested divorce, whether you have children, whether you have both been working and earning, whether one of you depends on the other’s income, whether this is a high-asset divorce, whether there is significant marital debt, and more. Regardless of the surrounding factors, a divorce means that there will be a public record that you once were married and now you are not, and this will be legally binding and recognized.

An Annulment

Unlike a divorce, which recognizes that there once was a marriage and now it has ended, an annulment essentially claims that the marriage was never valid to begin with. Without needing to go through the process of divorce, there is a fairly clear-cut legal procedure to prove whether this is true. If so, the marriage is deemed invalid, and you are no longer married. There is a list of prohibited marriages that are not legally recognized by Illinois law and any marriage entered into by a couple that meets the criteria is deemed invalid and canceled via annulment. The list includes:

  • If one of the spouses is legally married to someone else.
  • If either spouse is under the legal marriage age.
  • If the spouses are related to each other (other than some specified cousin relationships)

 Legal Separation

If a couple no longer wants to be together but is not yet ready for the finality of divorce due to reasons related to their religion, family, or anything else, they can get legally separated. This means that legally, they are no longer considered a couple but they also have not gotten divorced. If they do decide to get a divorce later on, they will still need to go through official divorce proceedings.

Contact an Aurora, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you no longer wish to be married, an experienced Kane County, IL divorce attorney can explain all your options and help you reach a decision that best suits your rights and interests. Call The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to hear more.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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