Is Annulment Appropriate In Your Case?
If you are married and believe that your marriage is invalid or void for some reason, you may want to consider whether legal grounds exist to petition the court for an annulment of your marriage. Seeking an annulment is similar to seeking a divorce in that both require legal proceedings in a court. However, the legal requirements and results differ in important ways.
Annulment are a good option for couples whose purported marriages came about due to questionable circumstances. Our attorneys can help evaluate your particular situation to determine whether seeking an annulment is appropriate.
Annulment Vs. Divorce
An annulment and a divorce are similar in that both involve legal proceedings which result in the end of a marriage. However, they are quite different in a very important way. With a traditional divorce, it is understood that a valid marriage does exist, and then that marriage is terminated. With an annulment, the court determines that a valid marriage does not exist in the first place and, therefore, declares that it was never a valid marriage.
The distinction can be important. With an annulment, there was never a marriage, and thus no divorce. This distinction is important as it relates to the legal standing of both parties and can have implications for future marriages.
Grounds For Annulment
In order to obtain an annulment, you must first prove that the marriage was invalid in the first place. You must prove that the basis for the annulment existed when the marriage ceremony took place. This erases the legal existence of the marriage
Texas law provides several distinct grounds for annulment. These include:
- Underage Marriage – The court may grant an annulment of a marriage of a person 16 years of age or older but under 18 years of age that occurred without parental consent or without a court order.
- Under Influence of Alcohol or Narcotics – The court may grant an annulment if at the time of the marriage the party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and as a result did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage, and there was no cohabitation after the marriage
- Impotency – The court may grant an annulment if either party was permanently impotent at the time of the marriage, and the person seeking the annulment was not aware of it, and there was no cohabitation after the impotency was discovered.
- Fraud, Duress, or Force – The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if the other party used fraud, duress, or force to induce the petitioner to enter into the marriage, and there was no cohabitation after learning of the fraud or since being released from the duress or force
- Mental Incapacity – The court may grant an annulment of a marriage if the court finds at the time of the marriage the party did not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage or understand the nature of the marriage because of mental disease or defect.
- Concealed Divorce – The court may grant an annulment of a marriage if the other party was divorced from another party within 30 days preceding the marriage ceremony and a reasonable person would not have known of the divorce. A suit for concealed divorce must be brought within one year of marriage.
- Marriage Less Than 72 hours After Issuance of License – The court may grant an annulment of a marriage if the marriage ceremony took place during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license. The suit for annulment must be brought within 30 days of the marriage.
Contact Us For An Annulment
The attorneys at the Hardy Law Group, PLLC, will consult with you regarding your situation and determine if an annulment is appropriate. If you are seeking an annulment or simply want to know what your options are, it is vital to act quickly as there can be deadlines to seeking an annulment. Our skilled attorneys will work with you and petition the court to protect your rights. Call us today at (817) 222-0000.