Annulment In Texas | How To Annul A Marriage – Forbes Advisor

To have a marriage annulled in Texas requires that the marriage be “voidable.” That means that there must be something about the marriage that would make it invalid, but the couple could take some action to make the marriage valid — to “ratify” the marriage.

The most common way that a voidable marriage is ratified is for the couple to live together as a married couple after learning of the problem. For example, a marriage can be annulled if one party was tricked into getting married. If that person finds out about the trick and continues to live with their partner, though, they have effectively signaled that they are okay with the marriage despite the trick and ratified it.

The grounds for annulment in Texas are:

  • A spouse is under 18 at the time of the marriage and there’s been no waiver of the age requirement. The spouse under 18 must also not be legally emancipated. In order to annul the marriage, the request to annul must be made before both parties are over 18 years of age or the court may not grant the annulment.
  • Impotence — which is the inability to consummate the marriage for physical or mental reasons — can be grounds for an annulment. If the spouse seeking the annulment was aware of the condition before the marriage or continued living with their spouse after learning of the impotence, the annulment won’t go forward.
  • One spouse being under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the point that they lacked the capacity to get married can be grounds for an annulment. After all, marriage is a contract. However, if they sobered up and continued to live with their spouse as a married couple it will ratify the marriage and an annulment will not be granted.
  • Being tricked or forced to marry is grounds for an annulment. Once again, though, the marriage will not be annulled if the person who was tricked or forced continues to live with the other person as a married couple after the threat is removed or the trick is discovered.
  • Mental incapacity is grounds for invalidating any contract. When a person is on drugs they recover mental capacity when they sober up, but someone with a mental illness may never recover that capacity. A marriage can be annulled if one party lacked the capacity to get married, but if they recover that capacity and ratify the marriage, it will not be annulled by the court.
  • Certain concealed facts about marriage can be grounds for annulment — essentially a form of tricking someone that is spelled out under Texas law. Like other types of tricks, the spouse who was tricked will not be able to annul the marriage if they continue to live with their spouse after finding out the truth. The specific concealed facts that Texas considers grounds for annulment in this situation are that one spouse divorced within 30 days of the marriage or that the wedding license was issued less than 72 hours before the wedding.

In the latter case, there are some exceptions to the Texas rule requiring at least 72 hours between the issuance of a license and a wedding. If one spouse is in the military or works for the Department of Defense, completes a premarital education course, or is granted permission by the court, then marrying within 72 hours of the license being issued is not be grounds for annulment.

You can seek an annulment at any point in time while both spouses are alive. However, if the marriage occurred too quickly after a divorce, you only have one year to file for the annulment. If it occurred too quickly after a marriage license was issued, the court will only consider an annulment within 30 days of the marriage. If a spouse was under 18 at the time of the marriage, the annulment must be filed before that person turns 18.

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