While many people are knowledgeable about the process of divorce in Texas, very few understand what it means to have a marriage annulled.
Unlike a divorce, where two spouses decide to end their marriage, an annulment in Texas declares the marriage void as though it never happened.
There are only a few limited circumstances where a couple can annul a marriage, but depending on the circumstances of your case this may be the best option for you.
To learn more about annulments in Texas and whether you qualify to file for an annulment in your case, call or contact an experienced family law attorney at the Law Office of Ben Carrasco in Austin today.
Grounds for Annulment in Texas
Like filing for divorce in Texas, state law requires that a spouse show grounds for filing for an annulment. However, unlike a divorce there is not a no-fault grounds for annulling a marriage. A court will allow you to annul a marriage if one of the following grounds can be proven in court.
You and your spouse are related, but it must be closer than just as first cousins.
Either party was married to a third party at the time of the wedding or is still married to another person. However, if the prior marriage was discovered and ended, and the couple of the later marriage continued to reside together then one spouse cannot later file for an annulment.
If one spouse was under the legal age to consent to marriage and did not receive the proper waivers by the court and parents, an annulment can be granted. In Texas, the law requires that a spouse be eighteen years old to consent or sixteen years old with consent of the parents or a court order.
A marriage can be annulled if it can be shown that one spouse was too inebriated at the time of the marriage ceremony to consent to the wedding. However, if the spouses continue to reside together once the intoxicated spouse sobers up, they cannot later request an annulment.
Impotence means that one spouse is permanently unable to have intercourse. However, an annulment will not be granted on these grounds if one spouse knew of the other’s impotence prior to the marriage or continued to live with their spouse since discovering the permanent impotence.
Fraud occurs when one spouse lied to the other or hid information that was essential to the marriage and the other spouse
However, an annulment will not be granted if the spouses continue to live together after the fraud is discovered. The fraud must also be incredibly significant in order for a court to grant an annulment on these grounds.
Duress or Force
An annulment is granted when one spouse proves that they were forced, coerced, or threatened in order to agree to the marriage. Similar to fraud, a court will not grant an annulment if the spouses continue to reside together after the duress or force has passed.
How to File for an Annulment
In order to file for an annulment, your attorney will petition the court with “A Suit to Declare Void the Marriage of [You] and [Your Spouse].”
The petition must be filed in the county where either you or your spouse resides in Texas, and you must meet the residency requirements of living for at least six months in the state prior to filing as well as in the county of filing for ninety days.
The petition must contain a complete listing of information that includes you and your spouses’ names, any children, and when you stopped living with your spouse. If you have community property that must be divided, it must also be listed in your petition.
Once the petition is filed and your spouse is given notice of the proceedings, arguments will be heard on whether to grant the annulment in court.
An annulment case can either be heard in front of just a judge or a jury, although it is far more common for a judge to make a ruling on this type of case. If successful in your case, the court will declare your marriage void.
Speak with an Experienced Attorney Now
Filing for an annulment can be a complex process given the specific requirements to annul a marriage in Texas. However, the experienced team at the Law Office of Ben Carrasco in Austin is here to help.
Call the office or contact us now to schedule a free consultation of your case with our knowledgeable family law attorney today.