If you’re considering divorce, you may be wondering about annulments. There are several criteria for declaring a marriage void in Texas. The first is “consanguinity” and the second is the existence of a prior marriage. Consanguinity means marriage to someone who is a close relative. A close relative is defined as an immediate family member, such as an aunt or uncle, or nephew or niece. If you marry a relative in Texas, then you can seek an annulment on the grounds of consanguinity. You can also declare your marriage void if your spouse was married to someone else when he married you.
Other conditions that qualify for annulments include: mental incapacity of your spouse, underage at the time of your marriage, marriage under the influence of alcohol or drugs, impotency, concealed divorce, and marriage under fraud, duress, or force. Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
First, there is the issue of underage marriage. If you married younger than 14, then you can get an annulment. Also, if you married when you were over 14 but under 18, and you married without parental consent or a court order, then you can get an annulment. The court will also issue an annulment if either party was impotent at the time of the marriage. For this type of annulment, you cannot have known of the impotency problem at the time of the marriage, and you cannot have voluntarily lived with the person since you learned of the condition.
If your marriage was never consummated, then this is also grounds for an annulment. If you married under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or mental incapacity, then you can seek an annulment. Annulments may also be granted if your spouse did not have the mental capacity to understand the nature of marriage, and there was no way that you could have known about this beforehand. If you are seeking an annulment on the grounds of mental incapacity, it’s important that you have not lived with your spouse since you discovered that he was mentally incapable.
If you were married under force, fraud, duress, or enormous psychological pressure then you can get an annulment. If you file under the grounds of force, fraud, or duress, you cannot have lived with the person since you learned of the fraud, or from the time that you were able to escape duress. Other criteria for annulments include a marriage less than 72 hours after issuance of a marriage license, and marriage within 30 days after a divorce. Consult your attorney for more details about marriage annulments.