What are the grounds for an annulment?

Posted by Helene Parker | Aug 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Texas Family Code provides seven grounds to annul a marriage. 

Underage - The court can annul a marriage if a party to the marriage was under 18 years of age at the time of the marriage, and that party did not have parental consent or a court order that gives the party permission to marry.  When annulling the marriage, the Court must consider the welfare of the spouse, such as whether one of the spouses is pregnant.

Under the Influence - The court can annul a marriage if at the time of marriage, a party to the marriage was under the influence of drugs or alcohol; a party under the influence does not the capacity to consent to marriage.  The party must show that s/he was under the influence and s/he has not voluntarily cohabited with the other spouse since the effects of drugs or alcohol ended. 

Impotency - The court can annul a marriage if either party was permanently impotent at the time of marriage for physical or mental reasons, the party did not know of the impotency at the time of marriage, and the party has not voluntarily cohabited with the other spouse since learning of the impotency.

Fraud, Duress, Coercion - The court can annul a marriage if one party used fraud, duress, or force to induce the other spouse into the marriage and the other spouse has not voluntarily cohabitated with the party since learning of the fraud or since being released from duress or force.  

Mental Incapacity - In certain situations, a marriage can be annulled is a spouse is incapacitated.

Concealed Divorce - The court can annul a marriage if one spouse (the culpable spouse) was divorced from his/her previous spouse within 30 days of the marriage to the current spouse (non-culpable spouse), and at the time of the marriage ceremony, the non-culpable spouse did not know, and a reasonably prudent person would not have known of the divorce.  Since the non-culpable spouse discovered the divorce, the non-culpable spouse has not voluntarily cohabitated with the culpable spouse, and the suit for annulment is filed before the first anniversary of the marriage.  Only the non-culpable spouse is allowed to bring a suit for annulment on this ground.  This rule does not apply to the remarriage of former spouses.  Divorcing spouses can remarry each other at any time.

Marriage Less than 72 Hours After Issuance of the Marriage License - A party to a marriage that took place less than 72 hours after receiving a marriage license may request a court to annul the marriage.  However, this rule does not apply to a spouse who is a member of active duty military, or a spouse who works for the Department of Defense either as an employee or under a contract, or a spouse who has received a written waiver of the waiting period from a court, or a spouse who has completed premarital education under Texas Family Code section 2.013 and filed a certificate of completion with the clerk.

About the Author

Helene Parker

Ms. Parker has been a licensed attorney in Texas since 1997.  She is Board Certified in Family Law. Ms. Parker received her B.A. from California State University, Fullerton in History and Art.  Cal State Fullerton was not Ms. Parkers first university; she spent her freshman year at American Uni...


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