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Grounds for Filing for an Annulment in Texas

 Posted on February 25, 2022 in Divorce

Travis County Family Law AttorneyUsually, when two people marry and then decide that it was a mistake, they simply file for divorce. However, in some situations, they opt instead for an annulment. There are many reasons that someone chooses to obtain an annulment, but it is important to realize the requirements are very strict. While divorce is easier to get, there are situations where an annulment may be the better choice for you, especially if there was some kind of fraud involved and you have substantial assets which could be at risk under Texas community property laws.

Requirements for an Annulment

There are only certain grounds that a person can use to file for an annulment under Texas law:

  • One of the parties to the marriage was underage and did not obtain a parent’s consent

  • One of the parties is unable to engage in marital relations

  • One of the parties could not consent to the marriage, either due to being under the influence of a substance, mentally ill, or because their consent was obtained due to force or duress

  • One of the parties concealed a prior divorce

  • The couple were married within 72 hours of the issuance of the marriage license

  • The marriage was illegal - it was between two people related to a certain degree, or where one or both participants were still married to other people

These are the only reasons that a declaration of invalidity of marriage may be obtained in this state. Any other reason, including religious incompatibility or crimes committed against one or both spouses (such as spousal abuse), may be grounds for divorce, but not an annulment.

An annulment must also be obtained within a specific time frame, while a divorce can happen, in theory, at any time. The statute of limitations on annulments vary depending on the grounds you are filing. Your attorney can determine if you qualify. 

Pros and Cons of Declaring a Marriage Invalid

While many attempt to get an annulment for religious reasons, there are actually very few upsides to declaring your marriage invalid as opposed to obtaining a simple divorce. With a declaration that your marriage is invalid, it will usually be entered as retroactive. That means that legally, your marriage never existed - which means that no court will have any authority to adjudicate issues like custody and child support, spousal support, and/or property division. If your marriage is declared invalid, you must go through an entirely separate proceeding to handle the other affairs that a divorce court would normally handle.

A Travis County Divorce Attorney Can Help

Even if you decide that declaring your marriage invalid is the best choice for you, having an annulment and divorce attorney on your side can be invaluable for making the process go smoother and more quickly. The process can be a complicated one and requires the skill and experience of a seasoned Austin, TX complex divorce attorney. Call Powers Kerr & Rashidi, PLLC today at 512-610-6199 to schedule a free consultation and find out if an annulment is the right choice for your situation.




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