We receive many questions about whether it is possible to get a marriage
annulled under Texas law or if a divorce is required. Texas has a number
of different grounds for annulment. I’ve listed the different grounds
below. However the requirements for an annulment are very fact-specific
and, in many cases, subject to strict time limits. If you think you might
qualify for an annulment, and prefer that route to getting a divorce,
see an attorney right away to find out more:
Here are the different grounds for an Annulment in Texas:
Annulment of Marriage of Person Under Age 18
A parent, managing conservator, guardian, or “next friend”
can file for 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 Court order. This suit must be filed before the child turns 18 and,
if filed by a “next friend,” it must be filed within 90 days
of the marriage. Annulment under these circumstances is within the discretion
of the Court, meaning that the Court does not have to do it.
Under Influence of Alcohol or Narcotics
A Court may annul a marriage if at the time of the marriage the person
requesting the annulment was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
and, as a result, did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage
AND that person has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party to
the marriage since the effects of the alcohol or narcotics ended.
A Court may grant an annulment if either party, for physical or mental
reasons, was permanently impotent at the time of marriage AND the person
asking for the annulment didn’t know of the impotency at the time
of marriage AND the person asking for the annulment hasn’t voluntarily
cohabited with the other party since learning of the impotency.
A Court may grant an annulment if either party to a marriage, at the time
of the marriage, did not have the mental capacity to consent to the marriage
or understand the nature of the marriage because of mental disease or
defect AND since getting married that party has not voluntarily cohabited
with the other person during a time when that party had the capacity to
understand the marriage OR, in the case when the party asking for the
annulment is not the party with the mental incapacity, the party asking
for the annulment did not know about the other party’s incapacity
and didn’t reside with that person after finding out.
If a person finds out after marriage that their new spouse was divorced
from a third party within the 30-day period preceding the date of the
marriage ceremony AND at the time of the marriage the person didn’t
know about the divorce AND hasn’t cohabited with the recently-divorced
party after finding out, then the Court can grant an annulment. To get
an annulment under these circumstances, the suit has to be filed within
one year from the date of marriage
Marriage Less Than 72 Hours After Issuance of License
A Court can grant an annulment if the marriage took place within 72 hours
after issuance of the license and the suit is brought within 30 days of
the date of marriage.
While you might or might not meet the grounds for an annulment, it is important
to visit with a good family lawyer when considering your options. In some
cases, getting a divorce is preferable to having your marriage annulled.
In other cases, annulment is preferable.