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Annulment

The fundamental difference between a divorce and an annulment is that a person who gets his or her marriage annulled can legally claim that he or she was never married. An annulment is a legal process in Texas relating to marriages that were never valid to begin with.

An annulment is not an alternative to divorce. Annulment is reserved for special cases in which spouses can prove that the marriage should be declared void.

Attorney for Annulment in Houston, TX

If you need to file a petition for the annulment of your marriage in Southeast Texas, you will want to seek legal representation. Sydow Law Firm represents clients in Houston and many other nearby areas in Harris County and Fort Bend County.

Michael Sydow is an experienced divorce lawyer in Houston who is committed to his clients. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (713) 622-9700 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.


Harris County Annulment Information Center


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Grounds for Annulment in Texas

The Texas Family Code establishes the following grounds for annulment of a marriage:

Annulment of Marriage of Person Under Age 18, Texas Family Code § 6.102 — The court can 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 of Chapter 2 of the Texas Family Code.

A petition for annulment under this section can be filed by a next friend for the benefit of the underage party (within 90 days after the date of the marriage), a parent, or the judicially designated managing conservator or guardian of the person of the underage party, whether an individual, authorized agency, or court.

Under Influence of Alcohol Or Narcotics, Texas Family Code § 6.105 — The court can grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if 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 the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party to the marriage since the effects of the alcoholic beverages or narcotics ended.

Impotency, Texas Family Code § 6.106 — The court can grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if either party, for physical or mental reasons, was permanently impotent at the time of the marriage, the petitioner did not know of the impotency at the time of the marriage, and the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party since learning of the impotency.

Fraud, Duress, or Force, Texas Family Code § 6.107 — The court can grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if the other party used fraud, duress, or force to induce the petitioner to enter into the marriage and the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party since learning of the fraud or since being released from the duress or force.

Mental Incapacity, Texas Family Code § 6.108 — The court can 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 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 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.

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if 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; at the time of the marriage the petitioner neither knew nor reasonably should have known of the mental disease or defect; and 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.

Concealed Divorce, Texas Family Code § 6.109 — The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if the other party was divorced from a third party within the 30-day period preceding the date of the marriage ceremony; at the time of the marriage ceremony the petitioner did not know, and a reasonably prudent person would not have known, of the divorce; and since the petitioner discovered or a reasonably prudent person would have discovered the fact of the divorce, the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party. A suit may not be brought under this section after the first anniversary of the date of the marriage.

Marriage Less Than 72 Hours After Issuance of License, Texas Family Code § 6.109 — The court can grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if the marriage ceremony took place during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license, but a suit may not be brought under this section after the 30th day after the date of the marriage.


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Harris County Annulment Process

In order to file an annulment lawsuit in Texas, one of the parties must reside in Texas, or the couple must have married in Texas. The person filing the petition is known as the petitioner, and his or her spouse is the respondent.

When the petition is filed, the spouses involved can decide whether they want their case heard by a jury. If the judge or jury believes the petitioner has proven his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning the greater weight of the evidence), then the marriage will be declared void.


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Annulment Resources in Texas

Texas Family Code | Title 1, Subtitle C, Chapter 6, Subchapter B. Grounds For Annulment — View the full text of the state laws in Texas relating to annulment. Most statutes cover what requirements must be satisfied in order for a court to grant an annulment of a marriage. Provisions relating to declaring a marriage void can be found in Subchapter C.

(Void/Annul Marriage) I want to annul or void my marriage. | TexasLawHelp.org — TexasLawHelp.org is a website dedicated to providing free, reliable legal information to low-income Texans and is primarily supported by funds from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. Visit this section of the TexasLawHelp.org website to find instructions and forms for an agreed annulment without children as well as a default annulment of marriage without children. You can also read answers to frequently asked questions.


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Find an Annulment Lawyer in Houston, TX

Are you seeking an annulment in Southeast Texas? You should contact Sydow Law Firm as soon as possible.

Houston divorce attorney Michael Sydow helps individuals in communities throughout Fort Bend County and Harris County.

You can have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (713) 622-9700 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.


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Sydow Law Firm