Getting an Annulment in Texas

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, you should 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.

Impotency

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.

Mental Incapacity

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.

Concealed Divorce

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.

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