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How Do I Obtain an Annulment in Texas?

 Posted on October 25, 2022 in Divorce

frisco annulment lawyerMost people have heard of the idea of “annulment,” but few people besides family law attorneys know what this idea really means. If you’re married, you are likely curious about the details of this concept and how this concept can potentially impact your marriage. In this post, we’re going to discuss the basics of this concept and then discuss the process for obtaining an annulment here in Texas.

Annulment vs. Divorce

When a married couple obtains an annulment, this means that the marriage itself was never valid from the beginning. Annulment therefore is a declaration that the marriage was “void.” This is the critical difference between annulment and divorce. A divorce is the formal dissolution of a valid marriage, whereas an annulment means that the marriage never existed in the first place. When a marriage is declared void through annulment, this declaration carries important ramifications. 

List of Grounds for Annulment in Texas

To declare a marriage void through annulment, there needs to be adequate grounds. A couple cannot simply obtain annulment because they wish to declare the marriage void. The State of Texas recognizes the following grounds as adequate for annulment:

  • One spouse is impotent

  • The marriage came about through duress (or coercion)

  • The marriage came about through fraud

  • One spouse was unable to give proper consent, either because of lack of capacity or age

  • One spouse was already married at the time of the marriage (i.e., bigamy)

  • The marriage involves parties who are closer than first cousins (i.e., incest)

These are the basic grounds for annulment in Texas. Readers should be advised, however, that certain grounds have specific guidelines. For instance, on the ground of incapacity (i.e., intoxication during the marriage ceremony), annulment will not be granted if the couple began living together after the ceremony. The annulment needs to be obtained immediately. As another example, on the ground of impotence, annulment will only be granted if the importance is permanent, and only if the other spouse didn’t know about the impotence at the time of the marriage. 

Anyone who seeks annulment should consult with an attorney to make sure that they meet the conditions of whatever grounds they intend to cite. The other grounds also have conditions associated with them. 

The Annulment Process

The annulment procedure begins with the filing of a particular document: “A Suit to Declare Void the Marriage of [Petitioner] and [Respondent].” The person who initiates the filing is the petitioner, and the other is the respondent. You must file this document in the jurisdiction in which you and your spouse reside. There are requirements associated with how long you must reside in a particular location in order to be eligible to file. 

The paperwork filed needs to include basic personal information about both spouses, any children shared between them, details regarding the marriage, and grounds for annulment. If necessary, the petitioner can request court involvement on the various issues of the separation, such as property division, child support, child custody, and so forth. Unlike other states, Texas allows petitioners to insist on a jury trial for annulment. This means that a jury of 12 peers, and a judge, will listen to the evidence and determine whether sufficient grounds are present to invalidate the marriage.

Contact The Ramage Law Group for More Information

The annulment process can be a bit tricky, and so consulting with an experienced attorney is often a good idea. You may want to consult with an attorney prior to marriage, as annulment eligibility can often change dramatically following marriage. For more information, contact The The Ramage Law Group today.

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