In the state of Texas, as in other states, there are laws that determine who can and cannot be married. Ignoring these laws can lead to an annulment. This in essence “erases” the marriage. It makes it as if it never happened. We will briefly explain some of the legal restrictions of marriage and the process of getting the marriage annulled.

You cannot get married if:

  • One of the participants is under the age of 14
    • Must be over 14, even with the consent of the parent or guardian (within 30 days of the marriage).
  • Under the legal age of marriage (18 years old) without parent or guardian consent.
  • One of the participants is mentally incapacitated.
  • The inability to have sex (impotent).
  • One or both of the participants were under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • Bigamy
    • Not divorced from previous spouses
  • Fraud
    • Someone lied about or hid something important to the marriage
  • Married to a blood relative, closer than 2nd cousins.
  • Duress
    • The marriage took place because one of the participants felt threatened or forced to get married.

When can you file for an annulment

If you are filing an annulment based on the age of the participants, you must file within 90 days of their 14th birthday. If that is not possible, you must file within 90 days of when you knew or should have known the person was illegally getting married.

You cannot file after the 18th birthday of the participant.

How do you file?

Your first order of business is to hire a good family attorney. The family attorney is the expert in family laws and in the steps needed to have the marriage annulled. The family attorney will file “A Suit To Declare Void The Marriage.”

Other laws you should know:

  • In the state of Texas, you must have lived in Texas for at least six months (and)
  • You must have lived in the county in Texas in which you filed for at least 90 days.
  • The annulment must be filed by one of the participants in the marriage unless one of the people is under age. If the participant is under age, his or her parent or guardian can file for them (with or without their permission).
  • If the participants request an annulment due to being intoxicated, the judge will not approve the annulment if they continued to reside together after they became sober.
  • Fraud is considered if the participants lied about something important to the marriage. However, lying about being a virgin is not grounds for an annulment in Texas.

As you can see, there is a lot to know about getting a marriage annulled in Texas. Our courts take marriage seriously, and they do not dissolve them without good reason. You need a family lawyer to handle this situation for you. Time is not on your side so contact an attorney as soon as you know there is an issue.