An annulment declares a marriage invalid. As such, this marriage will be found to have never legally existed. There are several grounds in Texas under which an individual can file for an annulment, including the concealment of a divorce. When you annul a marriage, your marriage is declared void meaning it is like you never had a marriage at all. Legally, you can say you were never married to your ex-spouse. So, how do you go about navigating the process of an annulment and what do you need to do to prove an annulment? Today, we will review what an annulment is and how to obtain one in the state of Texas.
What Is an Annulment?
An annulment happens when a marriage is found to be invalid. If a judge grants an annulment, the marriage itself is no longer valid. It is as if the marriage never actually happened. The spouses will no longer be married once this has been granted.
What Is the Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment?
A divorce ends a valid marriage. An annulment recognizes that the marriage was not valid from the beginning and therefore does not legally (and did not legally) exist.
What Are the Grounds for Annulment in Texas?
Either spouse can file for annulment based on the following grounds:
- One spouse was under the age of 18.
- One spouse was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time.
- Either spouse is permanently impotent.
- Concealment of a prior divorce.
- One spouse lacked the mental capacity to enter the marriage.
- One spouse was forced to marry the other.
- One spouse committed fraud.
- The spouses were married within 72 hours of the marriage license being issued.
The Annulment Process
If you are preparing to file for an annulment, it is advisable to consult with an experienced lawyer beforehand. You want to ensure your annulment will be granted and a lawyer can help you create a plan of action and familiarize you with the laws that could impact your case. You will also require legal representation when you go to court.
To start the process, you must first meet the Texas residency requirement. To be able to file for an annulment in Texas either one spouse must live in Texas or you and your spouse must have been married in Texas. An annulment lawsuit can be filed in the county where the marriage took place or where the spouses lives when the annulment happened.
After, you will want to figure out on what grounds you are filing for an annulment. You will then file an Original Petition to Annul Marriage and other necessary paperwork at the county court office. After you file your lawsuit, get an extra copy of your paperwork to serve your spouse. You will then attend a hearing where you will need to prove the legal grounds for your annulment.
What to Do If You Are Not Granted an Annulment
If you are not granted an annulment, it would be best to consult with a lawyer to determine your options. You could pursue divorce or see if you could file a lawsuit to declare the marriage void. An example of a void marriage would be getting married to someone who is already married.
If you would like to file for an annulment and require assistance, contact an experienced attorney from our firm online or by calling us at (512) 768-9737.