Getting Your Marriage Annulled in Texas: What You Need to Know
Marriages might not work out for a variety of reasons. You might realize, years after saying “I do” that you have grown apart as a couple. Or you might know right away that getting married was a big mistake.
Usually, a married couple that wants to dissolve a marriage will seek a divorce. But sometimes, one or both parties to a marriage will claim that the union wasn’t legal in the first place. In those cases, they will seek to have the marriage annulled.
While a Dallas divorce lawyer is in the best position to discuss whether annulment is an option is your particular circumstance, the following provides an overview of Texas annulment law.
Divorce vs. Annulment
When you end a marriage through annulment, it is if the marriage never occurred in the first place. From a legal perspective, the marriage is erased.
Texas law only allows an annulment in certain circumstances and in order to receive an annulment, those circumstances must be proven in court through the admission of evidence. Once the court is convinced that sufficient evidence exists to grant an annulment, the annulment takes effect immediately.
When you apply for divorce in Texas, there is no need to present evidence regarding fault or the reason for the divorce. Texas is a no-fault divorce state, so usually the parties will simply state that the reason for the divorce is “insupportability.” Once a divorce is filed, there is a 60-day waiting period before the divorce can be made final. And a divorced person must usually wait 31 days following the divorce decree before they can remarry.
Reasons for Annulment in Texas
A Texas marriage between close relations (consanguinity) is considered void and is not recognized in any circumstances under law. This applies to marriages, for example, between:
- A parent and a child
- An aunt or uncle and their niece or nephew
Similarly, if one of the parties is already married (bigamy), the marriage will be considered void under Texas law
The other grounds for annulment are considered voidable, which means they can be annulled if the parties choose to end the marriage, but they can also be recognized as valid if both parties agree to stay married and, in the case of underage marriage, a parent or guardian does not object.
Under Texas law a marriage can be annulled if, at the time of the marriage:
- One party was under the age of 14 years old
- The person petitioning the court for the annulment was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics at the time of the marriage
- One party concealed they were divorced within 30 days before the marriage
- The marriage took place less than 72 hours after the license was issued
- One of the married persons suffers from permanent impotency
- The marriage occurred due to fraud, duress, or force
- One of the married persons suffers a mental incapacity
When to Contact a Dallas Divorce Lawyer
Each of the grounds for annulment has its own rules regarding proof, including when the request for annulment must be filed and how the parties must have behaved immediately after the marriage took place.
If you believe you have grounds for annulment, contact Dallas divorce lawyer Michael Granada either online or by calling 214-977-9050 to schedule an appointment.