Annulment

by Deborah Coleman

One of the ways a marriage can be legally dissolved in Texas is through annulment.  An annulment is different from a divorce in that instead of ending a marriage, it establishes that a marriage never existed.

There is one circumstance where a parent my file to have a marriage annulled for their child.  It is where a child was over 16 years of age and under 18 years of age and got married without parental consent or court order allowing the minor to marry.  This type of suit must be filed before the child turns 18.

All other annulments must be filed by one of the parties to the marriage.  The very limited grounds for annulments are:

  1. The party filing the annulment was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics at the time of the marriage and as a result lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage;
  2. Permanent impotency which was in existence at the time of the marriage and hidden from the person filing the annulment;
  3. Fraud, duress or force used to get the person filing the annulment to marry the other party;
  4. The party filing the annulment lacked the mental capacity to consent to marriage because of a mental disease or defect;
  5. The other party was divorced within 30 days of the marriage to the person filing the divorce and the fact of the divorce was hidden; and
  6. The marriage ceremony took place within 72 hours of the issuance of the marriage license.

In all cases under one of the above, as soon as the facts became known to the person filing the suit, the parties cannot have lived together.

Annulments are only available in very specific circumstances.  However, when they are issues regarding children must be addressed.  Issues regarding children and property would proceed in the same way as if there was a divorce filed.  Bailey & Galyen will provide assistance to you in determining if an annulment is the best option for you and then will guide you through the process.

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