You have probably heard the word “annulment” in reference to marriage and may be wondering what an annulment is and how it differs from a divorce. In this blog, we will give you an overview of the subject. In an annulment, a family law judge rules that the marriage is actually invalid, legally null and void. This is because of certain conditions that existed at the time it took place that made it invalid. Once a judge rules for an annulment, it will be like the marriage never occurred in the first place and the spouses will be single persons again. This is done through a lawsuit and is not the same as a divorce, which is the dissolution of a legally-valid marriage.
Under What Conditions Is an Annulment Granted?
The following are the grounds under which you can file for an annulment:
- You or your spouse were under the age of 18 and did not have parental consent
- You or your spouse were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and so lacked the capacity to consent to marrying
- You or your spouse agreed to marry under duress or due to fraud or force
- You or your spouse is permanently impotent and the other party did not know it
- You or your spouse did not have the mental capability to enter into the state of marriage
- You or your spouse were divorced within 30 days prior to the marriage and concealed that fact from the other party
- You failed to wait longer than 72 hours after the marriage license was issued to get married
Some of the above grounds require that you do not voluntarily cohabit with the other party once learning of the facts. Others require that you must file your suit within a given time period after the marriage ceremony. For example, the requirements for annulling a marriage based on alcohol/narcotics is that you must not have voluntarily cohabited since the effects of the alcohol/drugs wore off.
What if There Are Children?
If the party seeking an annulment has had children with the other spouse during the marriage, the issue of child custody and visitation will need to be resolved. This can be done through a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) which must be submitted with the annulment petition to the court. The SAPCR will allow the court to determine custody, visitation, and child support.
In addition to the matter of children, other matters may also need to be resolved, such as the issue of marital property and debt. These can be complicated issues and should be handled with the representation of an attorney.
Other Requirements for an Annulment Filing
In order to file for an annulment, either you or the other party must reside in Texas or your marriage must have taken place in Texas. Generally, annulments are filed in the county where either one or both parties lived when the actions concerning the marriage and its annulment grounds took place.
Reach Out to Our Competent & Caring Legal Team
At Hunt Law Firm, PLLC, we are here to zealously protect your legal rights in a variety of family law matters, whether they involve annulment, divorce, child custody, or some other issue. Our competent team of litigators fully understand the laws that relate to family law issues. We are also deeply familiar with how the local courts look at these issues in order to decide them. When so much is at stake regarding such issues as divorce, your children, and your family life, we urge you to take advantage of our knowledge, experience, and resources.
Contact us at (832) 781-0320 to arrange to speak with a Katy divorce attorney about your legal issue today.