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Annulments in Texas
Texas annulment and prohibited marriage laws are similar to other jurisdictions. In Texas, like other jurisdictions, a divorce ends a valid marriage, while an annulment erases a marriage that was never legal. Annulment legally invalidates a marriage that was either void or voidable.'
The full text of Texas law on annulment is in the Texas Family Code sections 6.101-6.206.
In order to annul in Texas, the petitioner must show one of several legal grounds.
Void marriage annulment grounds are:
Voidable annulment grounds are:
These grounds for annulment come with conditions. These include:
When a marriage is declared void, the partners can say they were never married; however, the court can still decide divorce-related issues, such as custody, visitation, child support, alimony, and property division.
Children born from void marriages are still legitimate; they have the same rights as children from valid marriages. They must be financially supported by both parents and inherit from either parent.
A party requests an annulment by filing an action entitled “A Suit to Declare Void the Marriage of [Petitioner] and [Respondent].” The person asking for the annulment is the petitioner; the other spouse is the respondent.
The petitioner files the lawsuit in the district court for the county where either spouse lives. One or the other spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months and in the county of filing for at least 90 days.
The annulment paperwork lists the full names of both spouses and any children. It identifies the spouse who has lived in the county for at least 90 days; lists the date of the marriage and the date the partners stopped living together. It also lists desired relief, including custody, visitation and property division.
After the suit is filed, the respondent must be served.
Unlike most other states, Texas allows spouses to insist on a jury trial in annulment actions. This means the parties receive a hearing in front of either a judge or a jury of 12 residents from the county. The petitioner must present the case for annulment to the judge or jury. If the judge or jury accepts the argument, the marriage will be declared void.
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