Marriage, while deeply personal, is also a legal contract. But what if there were circumstances that rendered that contract null from the very outset? This is where the concept of declaring a marriage void comes into play. In Texas, there are clear guidelines under which a marriage can be declared void, effectively meaning the marriage never legally existed. In this article, we’ll delve deep into these criteria as outlined in SUBCHAPTER C: DECLARING A MARRIAGE VOID.
1. VOID MARRIAGES
Certain circumstances can inherently render a marriage void in Texas:
- Consanguinity: This term refers to marriages where parties are related by whole or half-blood. For instance, if one party is a direct ancestor of the other, or if they are siblings (whether by whole or half-blood), the marriage is void. Marriages between current or former stepchildren and stepparents also fall under this category.
- Marriage During Existence of Prior Marriage: If, at the time of marriage, either party has an existing marriage to another person that hasn’t been legally dissolved, the later marriage is considered void. However, there’s an exception: if, post the date of the subsequent marriage, the prior spouse is confirmed dead or the prior marriage is legally dissolved, and the couple has lived together as a married pair, the marriage is not void.
2. SUIT TO DECLARE MARRIAGE VOID
Anyone can file a suit to declare a marriage void as long as both parties to the marriage are alive. However, there’s a specific scenario concerning impotence. If one party to the marriage is impotent, the other party has the right to file a suit to declare the marriage void.
After a marriage is declared void, there are stipulated timelines for remarriage. Neither party can marry a third person before the 31st day post the date the marriage is declared void. That said, the former spouses are free to remarry each other at any given time.
4. WAIVER OF PROHIBITION AGAINST REMARRIAGE
In specific cases and for a good cause, the court may waive the prohibition against remarriage for either or both spouses. This waiver is granted if a record of the proceedings is preserved or if the court files findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Declaring a marriage void is a complex legal process, and understanding its nuances is vital for anyone navigating this legal scenario. At The Blacknall Firm, we’re committed to providing clarity, guidance, and steadfast support in such intricate legal matters.
If you or someone you know is considering having their marriage declared void and needs expert legal counsel, schedule an appointment with The Blacknall Firm today.