In Texas, as in many other states, an annulment is a legal procedure that invalidates a marriage, essentially making it as if the marriage never occurred. While divorce ends a marriage, an annulment erases it completely. It’s important to note that annulments are not as common as divorces, and there are specific conditions that must be met for a marriage to be annulled.
1. Underage Marriage
In Texas, the legal age to get married without parental consent is 18. If either party was under the legal age at the time of marriage, the marriage can be annulled. However, if the parties continue to live together after turning 18, the annulment may not be granted.
If either party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of marriage and was unable to consent to the marriage, the court may grant an annulment. However, if the parties continue to live together after the effects of the intoxication wear off, the annulment might not be granted.
3. Fraud, Duress, or Force
If one party was forced into the marriage or was deceived about significant matters, the marriage could be annulled. The deceived party must stop living with the other party as soon as they discover the fraud or force.
4. Mental Incapacity
If either spouse didn’t have the mental capacity to consent to marriage, whether because of mental illness or disability, the marriage could be annulled.
If one spouse is permanently impotent, and the other spouse did not know about the impotency at the time of marriage, the marriage could be annulled.
6. Concealed Divorce
If one spouse was divorced within 30 days before the marriage and the other spouse was not aware of the divorce, the marriage could be annulled. But, if the parties continue to live together after the other spouse learns of the divorce, the annulment may not be granted.
7. Marriage Less than 72 hours After License Issued
In Texas, there’s a 72-hour waiting period from when the marriage license is issued until when the marriage ceremony can take place. If the marriage occurred within this 72-hour period, it can be annulled.
Bigamy is another ground for annulment in Texas. If at the time of the marriage, one spouse has another living spouse from a previous marriage that is not yet legally ended by divorce, death, or annulment, the subsequent marriage can be annulled.
The Necessity of Legal Counsel
Navigating the annulment process can be complex and emotionally draining. It’s important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance and support. An attorney can help you understand the specific requirements for an annulment and can assist you in gathering the necessary evidence to prove your case. They can also help you understand the potential consequences of an annulment, such as how it could affect property distribution and other legal matters.
Remember, the court will not automatically grant an annulment just because both parties agree to it. The party requesting the annulment must prove that one of the statutory grounds exists.
While annulment might seem like a straightforward way to end a marriage, it is a legal process with specific requirements. Understanding these requirements and seeking the help of a seasoned attorney can make the process easier and ensure your rights and interests are protected. Whether due to impulsiveness, misrepresentation, or illegal circumstances, annulment offers a path to move forward, providing a fresh start free from the bounds of an ill-suited union. Call or email us for a consultation if you need further assistance or have any other questions: 832-800-5590 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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