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Houston Annulment Lawyers 

Comprehensive Annulment Guidance in Houston

Annulment vs. Divorce – What Is an Annulment?

While a divorce dissolves a legal marriage contract, annulment nullifies a marriage contract that was never valid in the first place. Most marriages require a divorce if the couple decides to go their separate ways; but select marriages were never actually legal or valid to begin with and may qualify for an annulment, instead.

Looking to nullify a marriage that should never have happened? Call (713) 766-5355 to discuss your situation and find out if you qualify to get an annulment in Texas.

Grounds for an Annulment in Texas

You may have grounds for an annulment in Houston if any of the following occurred during the marriage or were the cause of the marriage:

  • Bigamy
  • Incest
  • Underage marriage
  • Intoxication
  • Impotence
  • Mental incapacity
  • Fraud or duress
  • Violation of waiting periods

We understand that separation can be a complicated process, especially if your situation may never have been legally sound. If you believe that you have grounds for an annulment, our annulment attorneys in Houston can help you understand your legal options.

Void vs. Voidable Marriages in Texas

In Texas, there are two types of marriages that may be declared void: voidable marriages, meaning that a judge can annul these marriages if certain qualifying factors are present, and marriages that are automatically void because they are not legally valid from the beginning.

Void Marriages

The following types of marriages are void in Texas:

  • Bigamous marriages: A marriage is void if one or both parties are already married to someone else at the time of the marriage ceremony. This includes situations where a spouse has not obtained a legal divorce or annulment from a previous marriage before entering into a new one. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.202).
  • Incestuous marriages: A marriage between relatives is void in Texas. Specifically, marriages between ancestors and descendants, siblings (including half-siblings), stepparents and current or former stepchildren, and aunts/uncles and nieces/nephews are prohibited—which also includes relation by adoption. (Tex. Fam. Code §§ 6.201, 6.206).
  • Underage marriages: If one or both parties to the marriage are under the age of 18 and do not have parental consent or a court order allowing the marriage, the marriage is voidable. However, it's important to note that marriages involving minors with proper consent or court authorization are not automatically void. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.205).

While these types of marriages are considered automatically void in Texas law, you can file a petition for a declaration that the marriage is void in order to clarify your marital status and ask the judge to issue certain orders. For example, orders regarding child custody, property division, and/or alimony may be sought depending on the facts of your case.

Voidable Marriages

Marriages that are voidable in Texas include those that involve:

  • Mental incapacity: If one party lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage, such as due to severe mental illness or incapacity, the marriage may be voidable. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.108).
  • Marriage within 72 hours of issuance of license: If a marriage occurs within 72 hours of the issuance of the marriage license, and the parties fail to obtain a waiver of the waiting period, the marriage is voidable. However, a marriage cannot be annulled after 30 days. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.110).
  • Concealed divorce: If one party was divorced within 30 days before the marriage and concealed the divorce from the other party, the marriage may be annulled. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.109).
  • Fraud, duress, or force: If one party entered into the marriage as a result of fraud, duress, or force, the marriage may be annulled. This could include situations where one party was deceived about the nature of the marriage or coerced into marrying against their will. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.107).
  • Impotence: If one spouse is permanently impotent and the other spouse did not know about the impotence before the marriage, the marriage may be annulled. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.106).
  • Intoxication: If one party was intoxicated, either due to alcohol or narcotics, to the point of being unable to understand the nature of the marriage ceremony or unable to consent to the marriage, the marriage may be voidable and subject to annulment. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.105).

If you believe your marriage falls into one of these categories, it's advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified annulment attorney in Houston to understand your rights and options.

Understanding the Benefits of Annulment

While annulment and divorce are both legal processes that end a marriage, annulment offers some unique benefits that may be appealing to individuals seeking to dissolve their marriage. Unlike divorce, which acknowledges the existence of a valid marriage that is being terminated, annulment declares that the marriage was never valid in the first place.

Some potential benefits of annulment include:

  • Legal recognition that the marriage was never valid
  • Avoiding the stigma of divorce in some communities
  • Religious or cultural considerations
  • Clearing the way for a fresh start without the legal ties of marriage

Our team of experienced annulment lawyers in Houston can provide guidance on whether annulment may be a viable option for your situation and help you navigate the legal process with care and expertise.

Contact an Annulment Lawyer in Houston

The Houston annulment lawyers at Diggs & Sadler understand that you are likely in a difficult and delicate situation. With the help of our legal team, however, you will not be alone in the process of seeking an annulment.

Call (713) 766-5355 today to speak with a caring annulment attorney about your separation options.

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