Grounds for Annulment in Texas
There are three distinct ways to end a marriage in the State of Texas, and they include death, divorce, and annulment. An annulment is singular, however, in that it amounts to the court declaring that your marriage was not valid to begin with. In other words, you were never actually married in the eyes of the law. It can be confusing, but better understanding the basics can help.
Annulment vs. Divorce
When you obtain a divorce, you end your valid marriage – with all that that entails. If your marriage is annulled, however, the court finds that your marriage was never valid – it never existed. With an annulment, in other words, your marriage is erased.
Your Grounds for Annulment
In order to obtain an annulment in Texas, you must have valid grounds for doing so. If one of the following grounds applies, an annulment may be a possibility:
Bigamy – Your spouse was already married to someone else when he or she entered into your marriage.
Duress or Force – You were forced or coerced into the marriage.
Fraud – Your spouse misrepresented something essential to your marriage in order to obtain your consent to marry.
Incest – Your spouse is related to you, such as a sibling, parent, or first cousin.
Intoxication – You were too drunk or otherwise intoxicated to meaningfully commit to the marriage at the time it happened.
Impotence – Your spouse is permanently unable to have sexual intercourse.
Underage – You were too young to consent to marriage at the time that you were married.
The bar is quite high when it comes to annulling a marriage, and the grounds are fairly rigid and straightforward.
The Legal Effects of Your Annulment
If your marriage is annulled, it is void by the court, and both you and your one-time spouse can hold yourselves out as never having been married to one another. The court, however, can still treat specific matters involved in the annulment the same way that it would in a divorce, including:
If any of these apply (and you and your spouse are unable to hammer out terms that you can mutually agree upon), the court will rule on these matters on your behalf. It is important to note that children born of a marriage that is later annulled remain legitimate children who have all the same rights that children of valid marriages have. While we think of annulment as only applying to the briefest of marriages, this is not always the case.
A Dedicated Killeen Divorce Lawyer Can Help
If you believe your marriage should be void, it is a serious matter, and the best path forward involves having an experienced divorce lawyer in your corner. Annulment cases are often complicated and can be difficult to accomplish, but Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a practiced divorce lawyer who has a wealth of experience guiding cases like yours toward their most favorable outcomes. We are here to help you, too, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.