Generally when people think of ending of marriage they assume they will need to get a divorce. Most of the time they are right. Sometimes though I get questions regarding an annulment. Like a divorce, an annulment severs the legal union between two people, but there are very specific instances when it is available or may be called for.
What is an Annulment?
Annulment is the process of requesting that a court declare a marriage void or voidable. Annulment is different from divorce or legal separation in that parties to a divorce action are asking that the court terminate their marriage, while an annulment suit is a petition to have the court enter an order declaring that the marriage never existed.
When individuals have entered into a marriage under certain statutory false pretenses, it may be possible to petition the court to annul the marriage. You should be aware that, in most cases, the court will require that spouses go through the divorce process instead of granting an annulment.
Houston Annulment Attorneys
At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, our attorneys are experienced in assisting clients with marriage annulments laws. Our family law attorneys are familiar with the various annulment forms and the annulment filing cost in Texas. Contact us for competent representation; we proudly assist clients throughout Harris County including Houston, Northwest Houston, Champions, Spring, Tomball, Klein, the FM 1960 area, as well as The Woodlands and Conroe in Montgomery County.
Legal Reasons for an Annulment
The Texas Family Code provides for several circumstances under which a spouse may ask the court to annul their marriage. Some of those statutory reasons for an annulment include:
- Certain underage marriages
- At least one of the spouses was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage and lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage
- Undisclosed impotency discovered after the marriage
- Fraud, duress or force
- Mental incapacity
- Concealed divorce
These are the grounds people need to think about when considering an annulment. Once an annulment is granted, the marriage will be considered void and it is treated as if it never happened. If an annulment is not granted, then the marriage will be considered valid indefinitely.
If the marriage of a person 16 years or older but under 18 occurred without parental consent or court order, the court may grant an annulment.
Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
A Court may grant an annulment to a marriage that was entered into while one or both of the parties were under the influence of alcoholic beverages or narcotics, and as a result of being under the influence they did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage.
A court may grant an annulment only if the parties did not voluntarily live together after sobering up. If you moved in together, and tried to make it work, you do not meet the statutory grounds required to grant an annulment.
If at the time of the marriage, either party was permanently impotent.
However, the court may grant an annulment only if the petitioner did not know of the impotency at the time of the marriage and did not voluntarily cohabitate since learning of the impotency
Fraud, Duress, or Force
A court in Texas may grant an annulment of a marriage if a party used fraud, duress, or force to induce the other party to marry.
However, the court may grant an annulment only if the petitioner did not voluntarily live with the other party since learning of the fraud or since being released from the duress or force.
A court may grant an annulment if one the people in the marriage did not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage or to understand the nature of the marriage ceremony. This can be because of a mental disease or defect.
However, like the other reasons for annulment the person seeking the annulment did not voluntarily live with the other party during a period when the person seeking the annulment possessed the mental capacity to recognize the marriage relationship.
If at the time of the marriage, the petitioner did not know that the other party was divorced from a third party within the 30 days prior to the ceremony.
However, the court may grant an annulment only if the petitioner did not voluntarily live with the other party since learning of the fact of divorce.
Consult with an Attorney
While you should consult with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to discuss the specifics of your case, several of the grounds for a potential annulment also require that the spouses cease living together as husband and wife after recovering from
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Annulment, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding annulments, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Annulment Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our Annulment lawyers in Houston 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 annulment 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.