Is annulment right for you?

Annulment, unlike divorce is probably not something you know much about. Divorce has become easier now that all states let you file based on no-fault grounds.

What is annulment?

Annulment is a legal process that cancels a marriage. The marriage becomes null and void. In fact, courts view the marriage as invalid from the beginning.

What legal basis do people have for annulling a marriage in Texas?

Based on the Texas Family Code, grounds for annulment in Texas include:

  • The person getting married is under 18, and the marriage occurred without parental consent or without a court order. (After the person reaches 18, a parent or guardian may not file for annulment.)
  • The person getting married was under the influence of alcoholic beverages or narcotics. Also, the person lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage.
  • One party was impotent at the time of the marriage. In addition, the other party had no knowledge of the impotency.
  • The other individual used fraud, duress or force to make the marriage occur.
  • The person marrying did not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage. Or the person did not understand the nature of the marriage ceremony due to disease or defect.
  • One individual concealed from the other that a divorce took place within 30 days prior to the marriage. The individual marrying that person had no idea about the divorce.
  • You can annul a marriage that takes place within the 72-hour period after issuing a marriage license. Exceptions are: active military duty or working for the Department of Defense or completing a premarital education course.

To be valid, all of the above instances require no cohabitation. The person must not have cohabited with the other person after becoming sober. Also, the person must not have cohabited after becoming mentally capable. Likewise, after discovering the impotency or fraud, they cannot have cohabited. Once released from the duress or force, if they cohabited, it would disqualify them for annulment.

We are glad to answer your questions. If you are trying to decide between divorce or annulment, our attorneys at Richardson Brown can advise you.

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