Marriage is typically a joyous occasion, particularly in the beginning. Even though the divorce rate has been declining, some marriages fail over time, and in the US, 45% of marriages still end in divorce. But there are other ways to dissolve a marriage than divorce. Another way to end a marriage is by annulment, whether it’s in Texas or another state.
This article will define an annulment, outline its reasons, describe how to file a suit for annulment, clarify the distinction between an annulment and a divorce, outline the requirements for all annulments in Texas, and describe the annulment procedure in that state.
An annulment: what is it?
One way to legally dissolve a marriage is through an annulment. Annulments are based on how the marriage started, as opposed to divorces. Legal marriages terminate with divorce. An annulment puts an end to a marriage that never had legal standing. Certain situations can only result in annulments. Texas permits annulments in seven circumstances. Everybody has particular needs. There are time constraints on some of them.
What justifications exist for annulment?
The following circumstances allow for annulments in Texas:
- When a spouse married, they were both younger than eighteen.
- When a spouse married, they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- A spouse lacks sexual ability forever.
- A spouse only entered into marriage by pretense, coercion, or force.
- The mental ability to consent to marriage was lacking in one partner.
- One partner concealed their previous divorce.
- Less than 72 hours passed between the couple receiving their marriage license and getting married.
Steps in the Annulment Process:
If you have resided in the Texas county where you filed for an annulment for longer than six months, you must file paperwork with the district court for that county. The legal action is known as “A Suit to Declare the Petitioner and Respondent’s Marriage Void.” In this instance, one spouse is the petitioner and the other is the respondent, requesting an annulment.
What distinguishes an annulment from a divorce?
A marriage ends with both an annulment and a divorce. A court determines the validity of the marriage in a divorce. Something that happened after the marriage is the reason for the divorce.
A court determines that an annulment means the marriage was never legally binding in the first place. Legally speaking, it will be as if the marriage never happened.
What distinguishes a lawsuit seeking to annul a marriage from an annulment?
A spouse may file a lawsuit for annulment if their marriage meets any of the requirements for annulment. They may decide to remain married as well. According to Texas law, their union is “voidable.”
Under Texas law, certain marriages are void in all situations. Texas refers to these unions as “void.” Among the void marriages are:
- Marriages involving specific relatives and unions where one partner is already married.
- An optional means of dissolving a voidable marriage is annulment.
- Any marriage that Texas law prohibits from being enforceable is subject to an action to declare it void.
- Go to Texas Family Code, Sections 6.201–6.202.
Texas’s Requirements for Every Annulment
You or your spouse must fulfill one of the requirements below to obtain an annulment in a Texas court:
- Texas is where you were married.
- Texas is where one or both of you will always call home.
“Petitioners” refer to spouses who submit an annulment petition. “Respondent” refers to the opposite spouse.
You can file a petition for annulment in the county where you were married or where you reside. Each county has a different filing fee. It won’t cost you anything if you qualify for a fee waiver.
Annulments are handled by the same courts that handle divorce cases. Most counties in Texas have district courts that handle family law disputes. For information on precise filing requirements, contact the district clerk’s office in your community.
Serving your spouse with the annulment papers is required after you file the petition. Private process servers, sheriffs, and constables might perform this. Additionally, your spouse could sign a waiver of service.
Texas Annulment Procedure:
In Texas, a spouse must either be a resident or the marriage must have taken place there to be eligible to seek an annulment. In the county where the marriage took place or where the parties resided at the time of the marriage, you may seek an annulment if you satisfy this criterion.
The 72-hour waiting period that is typically required between obtaining a marriage license and getting married is not applicable once you file your petition to annul a marriage. Courts, however, frequently have hectic schedules, so waiting is inevitable.
A judge will hear your case, review the facts, and render a ruling at the hearing. You can file for divorce in Texas without having to follow many of the stringent processes needed to have your marriage annulled if you don’t meet the conditions for an annulment or if the judge rejects your request.
How does the Catholic Church handle annulments?
A marriage annulment is a statement by a Catholic Church tribunal that a legally binding marriage failed to meet fundamental requirements.
How much time does Texas allow for the annulment of a marriage?
The annulment of a marriage due to a prior divorce must be submitted by the first anniversary of the wedding. Within 30 days of the marriage date, the case must be filed if the annulment was the result of a waiting period violation.
Is it possible in Texas to end a marriage?
Under Texas Family Code §§ 6.001-6.007, a marriage can be dissolved or divorced for any reason, including no-fault and fault grounds.