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Austin TX Family Law Blog

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Annulling Your Marriage in Texas

Am I eligible for an annulment under Texas law?

Obtaining an annulment is a complicated process in Texas, but there are several advantages of seeking an annulment rather than a divorce.  An annulment is a legal proceeding by which a marriage is declared “void.”  While a divorce ends a previously valid marriage, an annulment ends a marriage that should never have been valid.  Many people who seek an annulment are not actually eligible for one, so review the grounds for an annulment carefully and obtain the assistance of an Austin, Texas divorce lawyer as soon as possible.

Grounds for an Annulment in Texas

You will need to demonstrate you meet one of the limited legal grounds to get an annulment in Texas.  Your marriage can be annulled on the grounds of:

  • Fraud—one spouse hid or lied about something vital to the marriage;
  • Bigamy—a spouse in the marriage was already legally married;
  • Duress or force—one spouse was threatened, coerced, or forced to get married;
  • Intoxication—a spouse was too intoxicated at the time of the marriage to legally consent;
  • Incest—the spouses are related to one another;
  • Underage—a spouse is under the age of 18 or 16 without parental consent;
  • Impotence—one spouse is unable to have sexual relations.

There are some important limitations to several of these grounds for annulment.  For instance, a marriage cannot be annulled on the basis of intoxication if the spouses acted as husband and wife once the intoxicated spouse was sober.  Your divorce attorney will assist you in reviewing the circumstances surrounding your marriage and determining whether it can be annulled.  

Benefits of an Annulment

An annulment may be a better option for you than a divorce for several reasons.  When you obtain an annulment, the court will attempt to restore you and your spouse to the financial condition you were in prior to the marriage.  Your premarital property will most often remain separate and alimony is rarely awarded.  Your marriage will additionally be deemed never to have existed, which could allow you to move forward more easily.


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