Divorce is not the only option for those who want to end their marriage. Another option is annulment. If you obtain one, then your marriage is considered invalid. Our clients have different reasons for choosing an annulment over a divorce, but you can only request an annulment if you have valid grounds. Call Tad Nelson & Associates to speak with a Galveston family law attorney.
Grounds for Annulment
The grounds in Texas are:
- A spouse is impotent
- A spouse did not have mental capacity when married
- One spouse married when drunk or impaired by drugs
- One spouse used fraud, duress, or coercion to get the other to agree to marry
- The couple married within 30 days of one spouse getting divorced and the other spouse did not know of it
- The couple married within 72 hours of the issuance of the marriage license
With some grounds, your subsequent conduct can make it impossible to request an annulment. For example, if you discover your spouse was divorced less than 30 days before your marriage, you can’t voluntarily live with them after you find out. If you do, you can’t seek an annulment.
Annulment versus Void Marriages
Some marriages are void from the beginning:
- One spouse is already married to someone else
- Spouses are too closely related
- One spouse was under age 18 and did not have court permission
You can request a court declaration that your marriage was void. This document might be necessary to show government agencies you were not married.
Jurisdiction for Annulment
A court needs jurisdiction to be able to annul a marriage. You can seek an annulment in Texas if you were married in this state or one spouse lives in Texas. You can’t just hop on a plane and come to Galveston to get a quickie annulment.
Why Choose Annulment over Divorce?
Some people choose annulment for religious reasons. For example, their religion might not recognize divorce, so getting a marriage annulled will allow them to marry again in the church. Other people avoid divorce because of social or family stigma attached to divorce. There might be less stigma attached to annulment, especially if you were victimized by intoxication, force, or deception.
Children & Annulment
One myth is that you can only get an annulment if you never had intercourse with your spouse. As you can see above, that’s not true. You might have children with your spouse and still seek to annul the marriage due to fraud, coercion, intoxication, or some other reason.
As part of the annulment, we will work on requesting child custody and child support. These issues can be just as difficult to negotiate as they are when part of a divorce. If you can’t arrive at a parenting plan with your spouse, a judge will need to decide custody.
Call Our Galveston Family Law Attorney
Tad Nelson & Associates can help our clients determine whether annulment or divorce is the best choice for them. To find out more, call us to schedule a confidential consultation.