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What Is a Marriage Annulment in Texas?

An annulment is a legal procedure that may be available to a married couple in Texas who wishes to dissolve their marriage. Unlike divorce, an annulment is used in cases where the marriage was illegitimate from the very beginning, due to fraud or mistake on the part of one or both parties. As such, annulments are considered void ab initio – i.e., the marriage never existed in the first place. There is no division of marital property after annulment; no alimony payments or other financial responsibilities for either party.

Marriage under Texas law is considered valid only if two individuals have formally consented to the union. If a couple gets “married” without taking the proper steps, the marriage is automatically considered void. However, if a spouse later discovers evidence of fraud or mistake in the lead-up to the wedding, it may be possible to obtain a judicial annulment – effectively ending the invalid marriage and starting over again, as if it never happened.

In order to obtain an annulment, the spouse wishing to dissolve the marriage must first file a petition with the court that issued the license to the purported couple. The court will review the petition to determine whether the marriage is legitimate and whether grounds exist for granting the annulment. In most cases, the burden of proof will be on the petitioner to prove that the marriage was not entered into in good faith. Some grounds for annulment, as provided by the Texas Family Code, include:

  • A spouse entered into the marriage under force or duress;
  • A spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of marriage;
  • A spouse was under the age of 18 at the time of marriage;
  • A spouse was impotent at the time of marriage;
  • A spouse did not have the mental capacity to begin their marriage; or,
  • The marriage was within 72 hours of the issuance of the marriage license.

Depending on your unique situation, these or other grounds might make it possible for you to receive an annulment. Otherwise, there are still options for dissolving a marriage in Texas, such as the regular divorce process. Notably, Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that either spouse can file for a divorce on the grounds that they feel the relationship is irreconcilable; no other reason is needed. 

Whether you’re seeking a divorce, annulment, or mediation, the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy are here to help. Get in contact with us today for assistance in any of your Texas family law needs.

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Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy, PLLC

The Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy, PLLC is focused solely on the needs of our clients. We provide professional and effective representation in the areas of personal injury and family law, in addition to our work with Wills and estates.

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