An annulment in Texas is a legal process that declares a marriage null and void, as if it never existed. Unlike a divorce, which ends a valid marriage, an annulment essentially erases the marriage from legal records. However, unlike divorces, there can’t be a no-fault annulment, meaning that they are subject to specific requirements and eligibility criteria. In this blog post, we will explore the key requirements for obtaining an annulment in Texas.
Texas law provides several grounds for which an annulment can be granted, they are:
- Underage Marriage: If one or both spouses were under the age of 18 at the time of marriage without parental consent.
- Intoxication: If one or both spouses was so inebriated during the ceremony that it erodes their ability to consent.
- Impotence: If one spouse was permanently impotent at the time of the marriage and the other spouse was unaware of this condition.
- Fraud: If one or both spouses lies about or hides essential information to get the other spouse to agree to the marriage.An example of this would be a false pregnancy claim or marrying solely for immigration.
- Duress: If the marriage was entered into under duress, coercion, or force.
- Mental Incapacity: If one spouse lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage due to mental illness or other deficiency.
- Violation of the Waiting Periods: If one spouse gets married within 30 days of being previously divorced (concealed divorce), or if the wedding ceremony took place before the expiration of the 72 hour waiting period.
There are also time limitations for seeking an annulment in Texas that depend on the grounds of your annulment. For example, if it is a marriage based on concealed divorce, the annulment must be filed within one year of being married. If the annulment is based on the violation of the 72-hour waiting period, then it must be filed within 30 days of the wedding. If the annulment is based on an underage marriage, it must be filed before the underage spouse is 18 or within 90 days after the marriage.
Unlike divorce, which addresses issues like child custody, support, and property division, an annulment does not automatically address these matters. If children are involved or there are property issues to resolve, separate legal actions may be necessary. Because to reiterate, an annulment makes it so a marriage never existed, whereas a divorce ends a valid marriage.