A court shall declare a marriage invalid (annulled). If the other party was induced to enter into the marriage. “By fraud involving the essentials of marriage.” Husband had been married three times. His wife never knew.
When she found out, she wanted an annulment. The trial court granted her request for an annulment. Husband appealed.
The Appellate Court reversed. It did believe the husband’s concealment of his previous marriages amounted to fraud. It did not go to the essentials of the parties’ marriage contract.
An annulment of a marriage is a judicial determination that no valid marriage ever existed. “False representations as to fortune, character, and social standing are not essential elements of the marriage. It is against public policy to annul a marriage for fraud or misrepresentations as to personal qualities.”
Courts in most jurisdictions have determined that the concealment of a prior marriage which has been dissolved by the death of, or divorce from, a spouse does not amount to fraud. It does not go to the essentials of the marriage contract. Even where there have been multiple divorces.
Husband had made no representations regarding the number of his previous marriages. There were no representations made my the husband on which the wife could rely.
In re Marriage of Igene, 2015 IL App (1st) 140344, June 26.
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