Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “I live in the State of Texas. I got married two weeks ago to a man I didn’t know very well. I realize right away I made a mistake. I am wondering if it’s possible to get an annulment?”
What is an annulment?
While many people are familiar with the concept of divorce, they are less so with the legal action of an annulment. So, what is an annulment? Like divorce, an annulment dissolves a marriage. Unlike divorce, which maintains that the couple was previously married, an annulment will treat the marriage as if it never occurred.
When can I get an annulment?
Every state has specific reasons and situations which allow for an annulment under their state’s laws. You mentioned you live in the State of Texas. You will need to review the laws of that state for specific information. Common reasons you can have your marriage annulled, however, include the following:
An annulment may be allowed in some states if your spouse hid certain material facts from you. Common issues of concealment include impotency, they had children, they have a sexually transmitted disease, or they are addicted to drugs.
- Fraudulent misrepresentation
Fraudulent misrepresentation is similar to concealment. An annulment may be allowed if your spouse fraudulently misrepresented themselves or their situation. For example, they married you to gain entry into the United States, they misrepresented their age and they were a minor, or they were married to another person.
The third ground for an annulment is impotency. For example, if you find out after the marriage that your spouse is not able to consummate the marriage and you had no prior knowledge of their condition, you may be able to apply for an annulment.
- You and your spouse are too closely related
It is illegal to marry certain members of your family. If you find out that you and your spouse are too closely related, you may request an annulment.
Finally, there are certain times when one spouse did not have the mental ability to agree to the union. For example, if you were drugged or intoxicated at the time of the marriage or it’s determined you lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage, the marriage may be annulled. There are, however, limitations. For example, this claim may not be valid if you lived with your spouse after you were sober.
How do I request an annulment?
If you determine you meet the requirements for an annulment you can file a Suit to Declare Void the Marriage. The lawsuit must be filed in the court for the county where you or your spouse lives. You must live in the state for at least 6 months to make the request in Texas.
To be successful, you will have to prove the legal grounds for your annulment to a Texas judge or jury. If the judge or jury believes you’ve proven your case, your marriage will be declared void.
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