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How an annulment is different than a divorce in Texas

I periodically get questions regarding annulments and divorces. I believe it is worth writing about some of the differences between the two. In Texas there are two different ways to legally end a marriage. Those methods include an annulment and divorce.

What is a Divorce?

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

What is an annulment in Texas?

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.

Legal Reasons for an Annulment

In some ways, annulments are harder to get than a divorce. This is because, with an annulment, there are required statutory grounds that must be met, such as:

  1. Marriage Under the Age of 14;
  2. Marriage Under the Age of 18;
  3. Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs;
  4. Fraud & Duress;
  5. Impotency;
  6. Mental Incapacity;
  7. Concealment—one of the spouses hid something significant from the other;

Reasons you may want to consider an annulment?

The reasons for an annulment will be different for each case. For some people the reason is religious. In that they do not believe in divorce.

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.

Waiting period

Unlike a divorce in Texas with an annulment there is not a statutory waiting period. With divorce in Texas there is a statutory waiting period. This does not mean you will be able to get a quick annulment it just does means there is no required length of time you have to wait before you can get an annulment.

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.

Children in either a Divorce or an 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.

Resources and Other Articles

  1. 10 Facts You Never Knew About Texas Annulment

  2. Every state has their own rules regarding annulments for people looking for information regarding how Florida handles cases dealing with annulment you may want to check out attorney Stephanie G. Morrow’s blog article“Do You Qualify for an Anullment?”

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Annulment Essentials for Texas Residents
  2. 10 Facts You Never Knew About Texas Annulment
  3. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Texas Annulment
  4. How an annulment is different than a divorce in Texas
  5. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Common Law Marriage and Divorce
  6. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Texas Marriage
  7. Frequently Asked Questions in Texas Divorce Cases
  8. 15 Myths About Divorce in Texas
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  11. Should I sign a Texas Premarital or Prenuptial Agreement?
  12. My Fiancé wants me to sign a Texas Prenup. What should I do?
  13. Making Postnuptial Agreements Stick in a Texas Divorce
  14. Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?

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.

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