When a marriage fails, a couple usually seeks a divorce, but a couple who never had a valid marriage could seek an annulment with help from an experienced family lawyer.
Talk to an annulment lawyer in The Colony when you think your marriage might have been invalid. An annulment can legally erase the relationship, as if it never happened.
A court will always grant an annulment if the spouses are close blood relatives, including parent and child, siblings, or an aunt or uncle and niece or nephew. When one of the parties is legally married to someone else when a subsequent marriage occurs, a court will annul the subsequent marriage.
Other reasons for an annulment are discretionary, meaning a court will grant an annulment if one party (the petitioner) can prove the grounds, but the parties also could decide to continue as a married couple.
With some exceptions, a court must annul a marriage if one of the parties is under 16 when the marriage occurs. A child between the ages of 16 and 18 must have a parent or guardian’s permission to marry. If a young person married without permission, their parent or guardian could seek an annulment. However, they must do so within 90 days of the date of the marriage. In addition, Texas Family Code §6.103 prevents a parent or guardian from seeking an annulment after the spouse turns 18.
When a spouse has a mental condition preventing them from consenting to marriage or understanding the marriage ceremony, a parent, guardian, or someone concerned for their welfare can petition the court for an annulment. The other spouse also could seek an annulment if they can prove they did not know about their spouse’s condition before the marriage and have not voluntarily cohabitated with their incapacitated partner since learning of it.
Texas requires someone to wait 31 days from the effective date of a divorce before remarrying. If someone marries within 30 days of a divorce and their new spouse did not know and could not reasonably have known the divorce was so recent, a court could grant an annulment as long as the petitioner files within one year of their marriage.
The law requires a couple to wait 72 hours from the issuance of a marriage license before marrying. If they marry within the 72-hour window, a spouse could petition for an annulment, but they must bring a petition for annulment within the first 30 days after marriage.
A judge has discretion to annul a marriage when, at the time of the marriage, the petitioner was under the influence or alcohol or drugs, one party is permanently impotent and the other party did not know it, or the petitioner was the victim of the other party’s fraud, force, or duress. However, a judge cannot grant an annulment if the petitioner continued to live with their spouse after they learned of the existence of these situations.
An annulment lawyer in The Colony could determine if one or more of these situations apply to a couple looking to dissolve their marriage.
An annulment has little impact on the legal rights of any children born of the marriage or adopted while the parties were married. The children are considered legitimate even though their parents’ marriage was annulled and they are entitled to support from both parents after an annulment, just as if their parents divorced. They remain their parents’ legitimate heirs and can inherit from them.
When a parent seeks an annulment from their children’s co-parent in The Colony, an attorney must also file a suit called a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). The SAPCR will present the petitioner’s wishes regarding health and dental insurance, custody (possession), child support, and decision-making responsibility (conservatorship).
An SACPR is uncontested when the parties agree on a parenting plan. If they do not agree, the other spouse may present their preferences on these issues to the judge, and the judge will select the plan that supports the children’s best interests.
An annulment is not right for most couples, but it offers a fresh start to some. The rules surrounding annulments can get complicated, so it is best to speak with a sensitive attorney who will not look to create fights where there are none before you decide to go forward.
An annulment lawyer in The Colony can meet with you, review your situation, and evaluate whether you have grounds for an annulment. Schedule your consultation today.
Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.