There are several differences between a divorce and an annulment, one of which is that when your marriage is annulled, it means that your marriage never technically or legally existed. Only some marriages, which the court considers “invalid,” can be annulled. For valid marriages, couples will have to seek out a regular divorce.
Divorce vs. Marriage Annulment in Texas
Divorce is the legal process of dissolving a valid marriage. Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means either party can seek a divorce at any time simply because the marriage is irreparable.
Conversely, an annulment is a legal process that cancels an invalid marriage. Invalid marriages are those that should never have occurred in the first place, such as marriages entered into by underage parties or while intoxicated.
When a court issues an annulment, it essentially cancels the marriage, erasing it completely. After the annulment, couples can legally say they were never married. Some parties choose annulment over a divorce for religious reasons or to avoid the stigma associated with divorce.
Note, regardless of whether a marriage is dissolved via divorce or annulment, the couple will still have to contend with all the other aspects of dissolution, including the following.
- Child custody agreements
- Child support payments
- Division of property
Grounds for Marriage Annulment
Texas divorce law provides a list of reasons for which couples may seek an annulment. Only marriages that involve one of the following are eligible for an annulment.
- Impotence (either spouse is unable to consummate the marriage or unable to have sexual relations)
- Getting married less than 30 days from the date of a previous divorce
- Getting married less than 72 hours after you received your license
- Forced marriages, i.e., marriages entered into because of threats or coercion
- Fraud (marriages entered into based on the lies of one party)
- Incestuous marriages
- Marriages entered into when one party was mentally ill or emotionally distraught
- Marriages entered into when either party was intoxicated and thus, unable to give informed consent
- Underage marriages
Trying to decide on divorce or annulment? The Texas Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Acquiring an annulment can be a challenging process, as can a divorce. It’s vital to weight carefully your options. If you are in the midst of deciding what to do, you are welcome to call The Texas Divorce Lawyer for help. Get a case review and discuss which route might suit you best. Contact the office today at 214-290-8001 and schedule a consultation.