Grounds For Annulment

Houston Family Lawyers

The terms annulment and divorce are oftentimes confused. Although, at first glance, these terms might seem similar, they are actually very distinct. In short, a divorce occurs to end a once valid marriage; an annulment occurs to end a marriage that was never valid.  In order to determine whether or not a marriage is valid, it is important to review the grounds for annulment.

Contact our Texas Family Law Attorneys Today (832) 410-8935.


Grounds for Annulment in Texas

Chapter 6 of the Texas Family Code allows an annulment in the following circumstances: annulment of marriage of a person under age 18; under the influence of narcotics; impotency; fraud, duress, or force; mental incapacity; concealed divorce; marriage less than 72 hours after issuance of license; and the death of party to voidable marriage.

Annulment of Marriage of Person Under Age 18

Section 6.102 of the Texas Family Code states,

“The court may grant an annulment of a marriage of a person 16 years of age or older but under 18 years of age that occurred without parental consent or without a court order as provided by Subchapters B and E, Chapter 2.”

It is important to note that the suit to annul a marriage under this section may not be filed by a parent or guardian of a person after the 18th birthday of the person.

Annulment of Marriage Made Under the Influence of Alcohol or Narcotics

Section 6.105 of the Texas Family Code states,

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

  1. at the time of the marriage the petitioner was under the influence of alcoholic beverages or narcotics and as a result did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage; and

  2. the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party to the marriage since the effects of the alcoholic beverages or narcotics ended.

Annulment of Marriage Due to Impotency

Section 6.106 of the Texas Family Code states,

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

  1. either party, for physical or mental reasons, was permanently impotent at the time of the marriage;

  2. the petitioner did not know of the impotency at the time of the marriage; and

  3. the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party since learning of the impotency.

Annulment of Marriage Due to Fraud, Duress, or Force

Section 6.107 of the Texas Family Code states,

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

  1. the other party used fraud, duress, or force to induce the petitioner to enter into the marriage; and

  2. the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party since learning of the fraud or since being released from the duress or force.

Annulment of Marriage Due to Mental Incapacity

Section 6.108 of the Texas Family Code states,

(a)  The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage on the suit of the party or the party’s guardian or next friend, if the court finds it to be in the party’s best interest to be represented by a guardian or next friend, if:

  1. at the time of the marriage the petitioner did not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage or to understand the nature of the marriage ceremony because of a mental disease or defect;  and
  2. since the marriage ceremony, the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party during a period when the petitioner possessed the mental capacity to recognize the marriage relationship.

(b)  The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

  1. at the time of the marriage the other party did not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage or to understand the nature of the marriage ceremony because of a mental disease or defect;

  2. at the time of the marriage the petitioner neither knew nor reasonably should have known of the mental disease or defect; and

  3. since the date the petitioner discovered or reasonably should have discovered the mental disease or defect, the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party. 

Other Grounds for Divorce

As mentioned above, the court may grant the annulment of a marriage under the circumstances of a concealed divorce. This occurs if the non-filing spouse had a divorce within the 30-day period preceding the date of the marriage ceremony, the other spouse did not know and a reasonably prudent person could not know.

According to the Texas Family Code a court may also grant an annulment if a marriage to the party took place in violation of the Code by occurring during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of a marriage license.

It is important to note that a petition for annulment may not be brought after the death of either party to the marriage.

See also…Annulment Marriage vs. Void Marriage in Texas.

Attorney Robert Von Dohlen is not affiliated with this firm.

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