Annulment Requirements In Texas

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

<p>There are only three ways in which a marriage may end in Texas: Death of one of the spouses, divorce or annulment. The primary difference between a divorce and an annulment is that the law treats parties to a divorce as having been legally married to each other. An annulment terminates the marriage because of a defect that the law says prevented a valid marriage from taking place.</p>
<p>An annulment may be obtained by either party provided the person asking for it has the proper grounds. Chapter 6 of the Texas Family Code allows a court to annul a marriage under the following circumstances:</p>
<ul>
<li>An underage party</li>
<li>Drugs or alcohol</li>
<li>Impotency</li>
<li>Fraud, duress or force</li>
<li>Mental incapacity</li>
<li>Concealed divorce</li>
<li>Marriage within 72 hours</li>
</ul>
<p>An Underage Party</p>
<p>A person who was over 16 years of age but less than 18 at the time of the marriage may petition a court in Texas to annul the marriage.</p>
<p>A Party Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol</p>
<p>A legally valid marriage requires that both parties consent to it. If one or both of the parties can prove that their ability to consent was impaired by drugs or alcohol, a court might grant an annulment. An annulment will not be granted if the parties lived together after the effects of the drugs or alcohol wore off.</p>
<p>Impotency</p>
<p>If one of the parties to a marriage was not aware that the other party was impotent, a court has the authority to grant an annulment provided the person requesting it was not aware of the impotency at the time of the marriage.</p>
<p>Fraud, Duress or Force</p>
<p>A marriage must be entered into voluntarily by both parties to be legally binding. The use of fraud, duress or force to influence a person to enter into a marriage is a ground for an annulment.</p>
<p>Mental Incapacity</p>
<p>An annulment may be granted in cases where one of the parties was unable to consent due to mental incapacity. Either party to the marriage may file for an annulment based upon this ground.</p>
<p>Concealed Divorce</p>
<p>If a person conceals a prior marriage from the other party to a marriage and gets a divorce within 30 days of the ceremony, the innocent party may file for an annulment.</p>
<p>72-hour Waiting Period</p>
<p>Texas requires couples to wait 72 hours after a marriage license is issued before getting married. Failure to wait can be grounds for an annulment, but the court action must be filed within 30 days of the ceremony.</p>

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