An annulment is a legal case that ends a marriage. A judge can grant an annulment based on reasons that existed when the marriage started. If the judge grants the marriage, it will be like the marriage never happened, legally speaking.
Getting an annulment can be fairly simple once you can prove one of the grounds for an annulment. It can be more complicated if you did the following during the marriage:
- You had a child or conceived a child; or
- You bought property together.
Do I Qualify for an Annulment?
Common grounds for annulment include:
- Lack of legal capacity: One or both parties did not have the legal capacity to enter into a marriage, such as being underage or mentally incapacitated.
- Fraud or misrepresentation: One party deceived the other, leading them to enter into the marriage under false pretenses.
- Bigamy: One party was already married at the time of the marriage.
- Incest: The marriage is between close relatives who are prohibited from marrying under the law.
- Non-consummation: The marriage has not been consummated, meaning the spouses have not engaged in sexual intercourse.
Consulting with a family law attorney in your jurisdiction can provide specific guidance based on the applicable laws in your area. Our legal team works with individuals to assess their situation and advise them on whether they meet the criteria for an annulment or if other legal options, such as divorce, may be more appropriate for their circumstances. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to find out more information for ending your marriage.
What is the difference between an annulment and a suit to declare a marriage void?
A spouse whose marriage fits any grounds for annulment can file an annulment lawsuit. They can also choose to stay married. Texas law calls their marriage “voidable.”
Some marriages are not valid under Texas law under any circumstances. Texas calls these marriages “void.” Void marriages include:
- Marriages between certain relatives; and
- Marriages in which a spouse is already married.
An annulment is an optional way to end a voidable marriage. A suit to declare a marriage void applies to marriages that cannot be valid under Texas law.
How long do I have to live in Texas to file for an annulment?
You do not need to have lived in Texas for any specific amount of time before you can file for an annulment in Texas. You only have to meet one of the following requirements:
- At least one of you lives in Texas at the time you file the annulment petition; or
- You got married in Texas.
Where can I file an annulment petition?
You can file a petition for annulment in the county where:
- You got married;
- All or most of the events that led to your marriage took place; or
- Your spouse lived when you got married.
If you got married in Houston, for example, you can file the petition in Harris County.
The local district clerk can tell you which courts handle annulment cases. In most counties, the courts that handle divorces also handle annulments.
Most divorcing couples do not qualify for annulment. If you have questions about your ability to annul your marriage or would like to move forward and file for divorce, the team at Renken Law Firm can help you. We work with a wide range of individuals to help them dissolve their marriages and move forward with their life. Filing an annulment and a divorce are not the same but both can legally end a marriage. Contact us today to learn more about your options for disovling your marriage.
Divorce Attorney for Mediation in Houston
Attorney Dawn Renken is a practicing family law attorney in Texas, who specializes in divorce cases in Houston, TX. Attorney Renken received her mediation license through ADR Services International Inc. in 2014. Since this time, she has worked with a wide range of divorcing couples looking for alternatives to traditional courtroom divorces.
Divorce Mediator Houston Texas
Renken Law Firm is here to help couples who wish to dissolve their marriage, whether that be through divorce or legal separation. We are here to help those who are ending marriages that have been contested, uncontested, or collaborative.
We are fully prepared to help you navigate the specifics of your case. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.