We are finishing up our story of an annulment case recently decided by an appellate court. It is an interesting family law case that touches on other areas of law, including probate and estate planning, as well as a little civil procedure. In our last post, we discussed the burden of proof in the state where all of this took place and how different it is from Illinois' burden.
We are continuing our discussion of a recent case from outside of Illinois that involved three sisters, Janet, Amy and Mary. While Janet was in hospice, just a couple of weeks before she died of cancer, she married Tim. They told no one. After Janet's death, though, Tim broke the news. Amy and Mary petitioned the court to annul the marriage. This is where family law and probate/estate planning law both entered the picture.
We are continuing our discussion of a recent family law case that involved three sisters, a secret wedding and a petition for annulment. Illinois law uses the term "invalidate" instead of "annul," and it really does make more sense. Invalidation wipes the marriage off the books; it's as if the marriage never happened. The parties end up with whatever they brought into the marriage, and in this way invalidity is significantly different from divorce: The divorce process will divide the couple's assets and debts and determine the future care of the children, including custody, support and visitation.
Family law issues come in all shapes and sizes, and they often dovetail with other areas of the law. An interesting case came up in another state that showed how estate planning and family law can come together. The case involves three sisters and a secret marriage.