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Annulling Your Marriage in Texas

Obtaining an annulment is a complicated process in Texas, but there are several advantages of seeking an annulment rather than a divorce. An annulment is a legal proceeding by which a marriage is declared “void.” While a divorce ends a previously valid marriage, an annulment ends a marriage that should never have been valid. Many people who seek an annulment are not actually eligible for one, so review the grounds for an annulment carefully and obtain the assistance of a divorce lawyer as soon as possible.

Grounds for an Annulment in Texas

You will need to demonstrate you meet one of the limited legal grounds to get an annulment in Texas. Your marriage can be annulled on the grounds of:

  • Fraud—one spouse hid or lied about something vital to the marriage;
  • Bigamy—a spouse in the marriage was already legally married;
  • Duress or force—one spouse was threatened, coerced, or forced to get married;
  • Intoxication—a spouse was too intoxicated at the time of the marriage to legally consent;
  • Incest—the spouses are related to one another;
  • Underage—a spouse is under the age of 18 or 16 without parental consent;
  • Impotence—one spouse is unable to have sexual relations.

There are some important limitations to several of these grounds for annulment. For instance, a marriage cannot be annulled on the basis of intoxication if the spouses acted as husband and wife once the intoxicated spouse was sober. Your divorce attorney will assist you in reviewing the circumstances surrounding your marriage and determining whether it can be annulled.

Does Texas Have a Time Limit for Annulling a Marriage?

Normally, both spouses will have the option of filing for an annulment for as long as the marriage exists. However, there are certain limitations that exist that would revise that statement. For example:

  • You will have 30 days to file for annulment if you marry within 72 hours of filing for a marriage certificate.
  • Upon marriage, if one spouse is underage, you will have to wait until he or she turns 18 before filing for annulment
  • If you were unaware that your spouse had divorced within 30 days, you can file for annulment before your anniversary hits

Keep in mind, you will not be able to file for annulment in the state of Texas if you purposely lived with your spouse after identifying their wrongful conduct.

Benefits of an Annulment

An annulment may be a better option for you than a divorce for several reasons. When you obtain an annulment, the court will attempt to restore you and your spouse to the financial condition you were in prior to the marriage. Your premarital property will most often remain separate and alimony is rarely awarded. Your marriage will additionally be deemed never to have existed, which could allow you to move forward more easily.