What is an annulment?

Most of us are familiar with divorce as that is a common option in our lives and has been for years. An annulment is a less popular option that several choose to pursue for many reasons.

If you get a divorce, the action of the process doesn’t erase the marriage. If you get an annulment, that is essentially what happens, you are going through a process that effectively erases your marriage once complete.

So why choose an annulment? Learn more below.

Why Choose an Annulment vs. Divorce?

In some cases, there is coercion, force, deception, or other unhealthy or inhibiting circumstances to getting married. If these are present, one of the parties may choose to have the marriage annulled once the problems are evident.

For example, if a couple decides to get married while intoxicated or in a varied state of mind due to drugs, they may choose to get their marriage annulled once they sober up and realize that they made a poor choice or jumped the gun on getting married.

One party may inflict force or coerce the other party to get married. They may also deceive their partner into thinking they want to get married for the right reasons, which are later found false. An annulment may be an option as the marriage unfolds and the intentions are clear.

If your partner is impotent and you were unaware of this at the wedding, this may be cause enough to obtain an annulment.

A divorce is an option that people tend to choose when the valid relationship that they were trying to build didn’t work out. An annulment voids or erases the marriage because it is based on false premises or other unhealthy actions, removing the marriage from the record.

What Makes An Annulment Difficult to Achieve?

Remember that if you continue to live with your spouse as a married couple after you have overcome the issues at hand, you may not be eligible for an annulment.

For example, if you were intoxicated at the time of the marriage but sobered up and chose to continue living with your spouse for a period, this may void your chances of getting an annulment. See the Texas statute on annulment here for more information.

Similarly, if you find out your partner is impotent and choose to stick it out and later wish to void the marriage or get an annulment, it may be more challenging or impossible to achieve.

If you discover that your partner misled you or forced you into marriage through their actions and you choose to continue living with them as a married couple, seeking an annulment may be more complicated or impossible.

What Issues Need to Be Addressed With an Annulment

Much like divorce, judges will review issues such as child support or custody and the division of assets, much like in divorce proceedings.

Children will have the same rights as they do in a divorce. In many cases, the spouse who entered into the marriage thinking it was legit may be entitled to items such as alimony payments or the division of assets in their favor due to the coercion or duress they were under to get married.

What if My Spouse Doesn’t Agree to the Annulment?

You don’t need your spouse’s consent or valid signature to pursue an annulment in Texas. You will work with Temple, TX Attorneys Specializing in Divorce to fill out the paperwork requesting an annulment and gather the evidence supporting the reasons why your request is valid.

Your family law attorney can help you to prepare for the proceedings so that you are as effective as possible in your testimony or providing further evidence of reasons to annul the marriage. Your spouse can choose to attend the hearing and dispute your claims, so it’s essential to be fully prepared and ready to prove your reasoning for annulment.

On the contrary, if you and your spouse agree that an annulment is the best option, you can file for an annulment together. This process is relatively straightforward, especially if children aren’t involved. Child support and custody will need to be discussed if children are involved.

How Long Do I Have to File an Annulment After Marriage?

In most cases, you can file for annulment at almost any time during the marriage with supporting evidence that meets the standards, provided you choose not to cohabitate with your spouse upon realizing the evidence.

If you and your spouse got married within 72 hours of obtaining a marriage license, you have just 30 days to file for an annulment.

If one of the spouses was under 18 at the time of the marriage, you can choose to annul the wedding, but it must be done before that partner reaches the age of 18.

If you were unaware that your spouse divorced 30 days or less before your marriage, you have one year from your wedding date to file for an annulment.

Do I Need a Family Law Attorney for an Annulment?

Individuals can sometimes handle their annulment without seeking professional legal assistance. In most cases, however, consulting an experienced attorney and working with them throughout the process can help you obtain the annulment you seek.

Contact our office at (254) 276-2736 to speak with our team and discuss your options. We have helped countless spouses in the past secure their annulment or divorce options so they can move forward with their lives in a timely fashion. We look forward to assisting you.