Is divorce or annulment the right choice for you? A divorce follows a certain procedure, ending the marriage relationship. But, what if you didn’t have a valid marriage and you don’t need a divorce? Maybe you need an annulment.
Annulment in Texas
In Texas, an annulment is an option only in certain kind of situations. There are seven specific reasons it could be an option:
- Marriage of Underage Spouse
- Under influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fraud, duress or force
- Mental incapacity
- Concealed divorce
- Marriage less than 72 hours after issuance of marriage license
If you are considering an annulment, you would have to list and prove at least one of these reasons that an annulment is the right option for your situation. Each reason on the list has a unique set of requirements with it. For example, an annulment based on a marriage entered into while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, impotency, fraud (including duress or force), mental incapacity and concealed divorce all have the requirement that there has not been voluntary cohabitation between the couple in some form or another in them.
And, only certain people can use certain reasons for the annulment. If husband concealed a divorce, he can’t use that as a reason for annulment. Wife can use it as a reason to ask the court for an annulment.
It is interesting that not all suits for annulment have to be filed while both of the married couple are living. An annulment using the reason of mental incapacity can be filed while both people are alive or within one year after the spouse with the mental incapacity dies.
The effect of an annulment is different than a divorce. A divorce without children involves dividing the marital estate and dissolving the marital relationship. An annulment asks the court to say and rule that based on certain circumstances before the marriage, there isn’t a valid marital relationship.
Talk to a family lawyer for questions about your case if you are thinking about divorce or annulment. Jill O’Connell, Lewisville divorce attorney, can be reached at 972-203-6644.