Marriage Annulments Under Texas Law

Man working on paperwork with Scales of Justice on desk

A marriage annulment has the effect of declaring the marriage never existed. Certainly, an annulment doesn't erase the nuptials from people's minds, but it does negate it in the eyes of the law.

Texas law divides annulment grounds into two categories:

  • Void Texas annulment grounds; or
  • Voidable Texas annulment grounds.

Void Texas Annulment Grounds

Under Texas law, two grounds, or reasons, exist that allow a marriage to be void:

  • Consanguinity; or
  • The existence of a prior marriage.

"Consanguinity" means 'related by blood.' According to Texas annulment laws, people too closely related by blood are prohibited to marry. That means you may not marry your father, mother, sister, brother, uncle or aunt. If you marry one of them, you or your spouse may seek to annul the marriage under Texas law.

Moreover, Texas annulment laws permit a party to seek an annulment if their spouse was already married at the time he/she married you.

Voidable Texas Annulment Grounds

Texas law permits marriages to be annulled if they satisfy one of the following voidable annulment grounds. They are:

  • Marrying under the age of 14. Under Texas law, if you marry at 14, both your parents and friends can sue for annulment within 90 days after your 14th birthday.
  • Marrying under the age of 18. Marrying under the age of 18 without the consent of parents or the court empowers people to seek an annulment of that marriage.
  • If either person was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of marriage;
  • If your spouse is unable to consummate the relationship, you may seek to have it annulled;
  • When people marry under duress, they were forced or threatened to get married,
  • A marriage based on fraud means one party misrepresented something of paramount importance to the other. Examples include telling your spouse you are old enough to get married or perhaps your new spouse was already wed when the two of you married; or
  • Mental incapacity. If you can prove your spouse suffered from and concealed a pre-marriage mental illness from you, you may seek to annul the marriage, if you wish.
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