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ANNULMENT AND VOID MARRIAGES
Experienced Houston Family Law Attorneys & The Woodlands Divorce Lawyers
Texas Annulment Law
An annulment is the process by which the court will declare the marriage is voidable, not to be confused with “void marriages” (please see below), and any record is erased as if the couple never married. In this aspect, it is different from a divorce; and thus, there will be no division of community property or alimony because the marriage is treated as if it did not happen. It is often a major misconception that a marriage may be annulled based on the length of time in which the couples are married. Though, allowing time to lapse for a long period of time may be construed as evidence in which the marriage was intended, making it difficult to obtain an annulment. Thus, time is of essence in many circumstances. Should you believe that you may be eligible for an annulment, or considers whether to file a divorce or an annulment, please contact the Houston Annulment Attorneys and the Sungar Land Annulment Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham
The Texas Family Code allows certain marriages to be annulled for various reasons. The reasons, as stated below, are all focused on the state of mind of the couple at the time of marriage. The question is, did the couple intended to get marry? The “intent” here is the conscious act in which the couple knowingly subjected themselves to the marriage. The Texas Family Code allows annulment if one can show one of the following reasons:
Underage Marriages - Marriages under the age of 18 without parental consent or a court’s order (must be filed within 90 days from the date of marriage).
Under The Influence - The petitioner must demonstrate that he or she was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics at the time of marriage, AND the petitioner must not voluntarily cohabitate with the other person after the marriage.
Impotency - One of the parties is impotent at the time of the marriage, the petitioner did not know of such impotency at the time of marriage, AND the petitioner has not cohabitated with the other person since becoming aware of such impotency.
Marriages By Fraud, Duress, or by Force - The petitioner must prove that the other party committed fraud, the marriage was under duress, or that he or she was forced into such marriage, AND force to induce the petitioner to enter into the marriage; AND the petitioner must not voluntarily cohabitated with the other person after the marriage.
Mental Incapacity - The court will grant an annulment if (1) the petitioner did not have the mental capacity to enter the marriage at the time of such marriage AND the petitioner must not voluntarily cohabitate with the other person after the marriage; or (2) the non-petitioning party was mentally incapacitated at the time of the marriage, the petitioner did not know or did not have reason to know that the other party was not mentally incapacitated, AND the petitioner must not voluntarily cohabitate with the other person after the marriage.
Concealed Divorce - The court may grant an annulment if the non-petitioning spouse was divorced from a third person within 30 days prior to the date of marriage, the petitioner did not know or had reason to know that the divorce was within the 30 days prohibited period, AND since the discovery of the fact, the petitioner did not voluntarily cohabitate with the other party. An annulment suit based on a concealed divorce must be brought within 1 year from the date of marriage.
Marriages Within 72 hours of The License Issuance - Marriages that are within the 72 prohibited hours after the issuance of the license, in violation of Section 2.204 of the Family Code, may be annulled but must be filed within the 30 days from the date of marriage.
Voidable Marriages in Texas
Some marriages are void statutorily (by law). Void marriages are those that are outside of the societal norm, such as incest or that one or both parties are married to third persons at the time of marriage. Under Section 6.201 of the Texas Family Code, marriages between an ancestor and descendant, either by blood or through an adoption, is void. In addition, brothers and sisters, aunts or uncles, or first cousins, are all considered “consanguinity” and are all void marriages. Section 6.202 of the code also stated that a marriage is void if entered into when either party has an existing marriage to another person that has not been dissolved by legal action, divorce or annulment, or by death.
Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil union. Texas considers same-sex marriage as contrary to public policy. As such, Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages from other states and does not grant civil-union status, which is intended in some states to grant legal protections and certain marital rights. However, a same-sex couple in Texas may enter into private contracts, civil-union, contract, but such contract could not enjoy public benefits and legal rights under state law. Civil-union contract may be enforced individually, similar to any other private contracts.
In addition to the above, Texas does not recognize child-marriages under the age of 16, even with parental consent. In some narrow exceptions, only the court may grant such marriage. Minors from the age of 16 through 17, may be married with parental consent.
Certain void marriages may be validated at a later time. For example, if the marriage is void because of one of the spouse had an existing marriage, the later marriage that is void under Section 6.202 becomes valid when the prior marriage is dissolved if, and only if, after the date of divorce, the parties lived together as husband and wife and represented themselves to others as being married. For more information regarding annulments and voidable marriages, please contact the Houston Annulment Attorneys and the Houston Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham
Please DO NOT rely on the information above to replace a personal consultation when with our Houston Annulment Lawyers and our Spring Annulment Attorneys. There may be other legal issues, depending on the fact and circumstances, in which we have not had the opportunity to discuss in this article. It is to your advantage to contact the experienced Houston Divorce Lawyers and the Woodlands Uncontested Divorce Attorneys to review and to provide a personal consultation. Please contact our Montgomery County Annulment Attorneys and Harris County Divorce Lawyers at 713-517-6645 or complete our Online Contact Form.