The legalities surrounding marriage can sometimes be intricate, especially when it comes to annulling a union. While divorces terminate a marriage, annulments declare a marriage null and void, as if it never existed. In Texas, there are specific grounds under which a marriage can be annulled. Let’s explore these reasons in detail as mentioned in SUBCHAPTER B: GROUNDS FOR ANNULMENT.
1. ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE OF PERSON UNDER AGE 18
In Texas, an annulment can be granted if a person between the ages of 16 and 18 gets married without parental consent or a court order. The petition for annulment can be filed by a next friend for the underage party, a parent, or the managing conservator or guardian of the underage party. It’s essential to note that any suit filed by a next friend is barred unless it’s filed within 90 days of the marriage.
2. UNDERAGE ANNULMENT BARRED BY ADULTHOOD
Once the person reaches 18, a parent, managing conservator, or guardian cannot file a suit to annul the marriage based on the person’s underage status.
3. DISCRETIONARY ANNULMENT OF UNDERAGE MARRIAGE
Annulment on the grounds of underage marriage can be granted at the discretion of the court. The court will consider various factors, including the welfare of the parties and whether the female is pregnant.
If one spouse was permanently impotent at the time of the marriage and the other spouse was unaware, the latter can seek an annulment. However, if the couple voluntarily lived together after discovering the impotency, this ground is not applicable.
5. FRAUD, DURESS, OR FORCE
A marriage can be annulled if one spouse used fraud, duress, or force to induce the other to enter into the marriage. If the parties continued to live together after the cessation of the fraud, duress, or force, annulment cannot be sought.
6. MENTAL INCAPACITY
If, at the time of marriage, one spouse did not have the mental capacity to understand the nature of the marriage ceremony or to consent to marriage, the other spouse can seek annulment.
7. UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR NARCOTICS
If one spouse was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics at the time of the marriage and lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage, the other spouse can seek annulment. However, this ground isn’t valid if the parties voluntarily lived together after the effects of the alcohol or narcotics wore off.
8. CONCEALED DIVORCE
If one spouse was divorced from a third party within the 30-day period before the marriage and the other party was unaware, the marriage can be annulled. This ground is valid as long as the parties did not cohabit after the discovery of the divorce.
9. MARRIAGE LESS THAN 72 HOURS AFTER ISSUANCE OF LICENSE
If a marriage ceremony took place within the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license, it can be grounds for annulment. However, a suit on this ground must be filed within 30 days of the marriage.
10. DEATH OF PARTY TO VOIDABLE MARRIAGE
It’s important to note that, with some exceptions, a marriage subject to annulment cannot be challenged after the death of either party to the marriage.
Annulments address the validity of a marriage, and understanding the grounds is crucial for anyone considering this legal action. At The Blacknall Firm, we are dedicated to offering guidance, clarity, and support throughout the annulment process.
If you or someone you know is contemplating an annulment and needs expert advice, schedule an appointment with The Blacknall Firm today.