Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Texas Annulment

What is an annulment?

In some instances, a person may want and be able to get an annulment rather than a divorce. An annulment and divorce are different. A divorce ends a valid marriage. An annulment would mean you were never married in the first place.

With an annulment, there requires that certain statutory grounds. That means you must qualify for annulment before a judge will grant you an annulment.

Is an annulment different from a divorce?

Yes. As mentioned above A divorce ends a valid marriage. It is the legal procedure that returns both parties to single status with the ability to remarry.

An annulment is a procedure under the law that cancels a marriage. When a marriage is annulled it is as though it is completely erased. Technically it declares that the marriage never existed and was never valid. Or under Texas Law it would mean you were never married in the first place.

However, in both an annulment and a divorce, the court can issue orders regarding any children and divide property.

Can a court divide property in an annulment?

Yes, Under Section 7.002 of the Texas Family Code:

(a) In addition to the division of the estate of the parties required by Section 7.001, in a decree of divorce or annulment the court shall order a division of the following real and personal property, wherever situated, in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage:

(1) property that was acquired by either spouse while domiciled in another state and that would have been community property if the spouse who acquired the property had been domiciled in this state at the time of the acquisition; or

(2) property that was acquired by either spouse in exchange for real or personal property and that would have been community property if the spouse who acquired the property so exchanged had been domiciled in this state at the time of its acquisition.

(b) In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall award to a spouse the following real and personal property, wherever situated, as the separate property of the spouse:

(1) property that was acquired by the spouse while domiciled in another state and that would have been the spouse's separate property if the spouse had been domiciled in this state at the time of acquisition; or

(2) property that was acquired by the spouse in exchange for real or personal property and that would have been the spouse's separate property if the spouse had been domiciled in this state at the time of acquisition.

(c) In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall confirm the following as the separate property of a spouse if partitioned or exchanged by written agreement of the spouses:

(1) income and earnings from the spouses' property, wages, salaries, and other forms of compensation received on or after January 1 of the year in which the suit for dissolution of marriage was filed; or

(2) income and earnings from the spouses' property, wages, salaries, and other forms of compensation received in another year during which the spouses were married for any part of the year.

What if there are children involved in the annulment?

If children have been born as a result the relationship between you and your spouse then the party seeking a divorce or annulment will also have to bring a “Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship,” or SAPCR.

A SAPCR is required in both a divorce or an annulment involving children of the marriage relationship. The SAPCR determines the parties’ rights and duties regarding the children.

Under Section Sec. 160.610 of the Texas Family Code a proceeding to adjudicate parentage may be joined with a proceeding for adoption, termination of parental rights, possession of or access to a child, child support, divorce, annulment, or probate or administration of an estate or another appropriate proceeding.

Does an annulment have an effect on a presumption of paternity?

No.

Under Section 160.204(a)(3) –“ A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he married the mother of the child before the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;”

What is the difference between an annulment and a suit to declare a marriage void?

Both an annulment and a suit to declare a marriage void focus on reasons why there is not a valid marriage at the start of the marriage.

However, a void marriage is automatically not a valid marriage from the start whether or not a court states it is not. This differs from an annulment where it is necessary to get the courts permission to declare it an invalid marriage.

In a void marriage, the spouses do not have the option agree to have a legally valid marriage.

I have been married for less than a year. Can I annul my marriage?

The length of your marriage is not a ground to annul your marriage. Below are grounds for asking the court to annul your marriage.

What are the Statutory Grounds for an Annulment?

such as:

  1. Marriage Under the Age of 18;
  2. Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs;
  3. Fraud & Duress;
  4. Either spouse is permanently impotent
  5. Mental Incapacity.
  6. A spouse concealed a prior divorce
  7. The spouses were married within 72 hours of the marriage license being issued.

Annulments can be harder to get and just as expensive if not more so then a divorce.

What if I don’t qualify for an annulment? What do I do?

If you don’t qualify for an annulment under one of the statutory grounds you may need to file for a divorce or if you qualify to declare your marriage void.

Is there a waiting period before I can get an annulment?

Under Section 6.702(b) of the Texas Family Code “A waiting period is not required before a court may grant an annulment or declare a marriage void other than as required in civil cases generally.”

Although there is no mandatory waiting period, it is not likely that the court will be able to grant it right away.

This is generally because courts have to find a time schedule a hearing regarding your case. This may mean weeks or months before a court can get to your case.

Can I get an annulment in Texas?

Under Section 6.306 of The Texas Family Code you may file for annulment in Texas if:

  1. if the parties were married in this state or
  2. if either party is domiciled in this state.

You will also have to meet one of statutory grounds under the Texas Family Code. Typically, annulments are granted if there was a legal deficiency or grounds for an annulment.

Where can I file an annulment?

Annulments are typically heard in same courts that handle divorces. You can file in the county where all or most of the facts are such as where:

  1. You live or
  2. Your spouse live
  3. Or the marriage took place

Can I get an annulment and Spousal Support?

No, an annulment does not provide for spousal maintenance. An annulment just turns back time so that the act of marriage never happened.

Is an Annulment in Texas the Same as a Religious Annulment?

No. While Texas law has its grounds for obtaining an annulment, the grounds for obtaining a religious annulment may not be the same. If you get an annulment under Texas law and want an annulment through your religious organization, you will have to follow their procedures and have to meet their grounds for an annulment.

Both an annulment under Texas Law and a religious annulment have essentially the same effect--the marriage is treated as though it never existed.

What are the requirements for annulling a marriage on the grounds one spouse is under 18 years of age?

Under Texas Family Code Section 6.102:

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage of a person 16 year of age or older but under 18 years of age that occurred without parental consent or without a court.

A petition for annulment under this section may be filed by:

  1. a next friend for the benefit of the underage party;
  2. a parent; or
  3. the judicially designated managing conservator or guardian of the person of the underage party, whether an individual, authorized agency, or court.

A suit filed under this subsection by a next friend is barred unless it is filed within 90 days after the date of the marriage.

Section 6.103 of the Texas Family Code provides that a suit for annulment under this section must may not be brought by a parent, managing conservator, or guardian of a person after the 18th birthday of the person.

What are the requirements for annulling a marriage on the grounds a spouse was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics?

Under Texas Family Code Section 6.105:

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

  1. at the time of the marriage the petitioner was under the influence of alcoholic beverages or narcotics and as a result did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage; and
  2. the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party to the marriage since the effects of the alcoholic beverages or narcotics ended.

What are the requirements for annulling a marriage on the grounds one spouse is impotent?

Under Texas Family Code Section 6.106:

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

  1. either party, for physical or mental reasons, was permanently impotent at the time of the marriage;
  2. the petitioner did not know of the impotency at the time of the marriage; and
  3. the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party since learning of the impotency.

What are the requirements for annulling a marriage on the grounds there was fraud, duress, or force involved?

Under Texas Family Code Section 6.107:

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

  1. the other party used fraud, duress, or force to induce the petitioner to enter into the marriage; and
  2. the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party since learning of the fraud or since being released from the duress or force.

What are the requirements for annulling a marriage on the grounds of mental incapacity?

Under Texas Family Code Section 6.108:

  1. The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage on the suit of the party or the party's guardian or next friend, if the court finds it to be in the party's best interest to be represented by a guardian or next friend, if:
  1. at the time of the marriage the petitioner did not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage or to understand the nature of the marriage ceremony because of a mental disease or defect; and
  2. since the marriage ceremony, the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party during a period when the petitioner possessed the mental capacity to recognize the marriage relationship.

(b) The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

  1. at the time of the marriage the other party did not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage or to understand the nature of the marriage ceremony because of a mental disease or defect;
  2. at the time of the marriage the petitioner neither knew nor reasonably should have known of the mental disease or defect; and
  3. since the date the petitioner discovered or reasonably should have discovered the mental disease or defect, the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party.

What are the requirements for an annulment on the grounds of concealed divorce?

Under Texas Family Code Section 6.109:

(a) The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

  1. the other party was divorced from a third party within the 30-day period preceding the date of the marriage ceremony;
  2. at the time of the marriage ceremony the petitioner did not know, and a reasonably prudent person would not have known, of the divorce; and
  3. since the petitioner discovered or a reasonably prudent person would have discovered the fact of the divorce, the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party.

(b) A suit may not be brought under this section after the first anniversary of the date of the marriage.

What are the requirements for an annulment on the grounds the marriage took place within 72 hours of the issuance of the marriage license?

Under Texas Family Code Section 6.110:

(a) The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if the marriage ceremony took place in violation of Section 2.204 during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license.

(b) A suit may not be brought under this section after the 30th day after the date of the marriage.

Can I get a Name Change in an Annulment?

Yes, Under Section 6.706 of the Texas Family Code:

In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall change the name of a party specifically requesting the change to:

  1. a name previously used by the party

unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name.

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Our Divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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