All you have to do is skim the tabloids and you’ll find an article about a celebrity who’s getting a marriage annulment. It has become a lot more common today than it was fifty years ago. When you consider the different grounds for requesting an annulment, they are all rather reasonable.
For example, if you find out after you got married that your spouse lied about who they are, you shouldn’t be forced to stay married. That is why, under Texas law, you can have the marriage dissolved. Once your marriage is annulled, it is as if your marriage never happened.
This is a lot different from a divorce. With a divorce, the law recognized your marriage as valid and then agreed to dissolve it. With a marriage annulment, the courts are essentially saying that your marriage was never valid in the first place. Our Woodlands divorce attorneys do handle more divorces than annulments. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to handle your annulment.
Here, we will discuss exactly what an annulment is. We will also describe the grounds on which you can request an annulment. Finally, we will briefly explain the differences between getting a marriage annulled and getting divorced. If you still have questions about your own situation, feel free to contact our office directly.
What Exactly is a Marriage Annulment?
The best way to explain what an annulment is may be to compare it to a divorce. When you file for divorce, you’re asking the court to dissolve an existing marriage. Your marriage will be deemed terminated, but legal while it lasted.
When you ask the court for a marriage annulment, you’re basically asking them to rule that your marriage ever took place. This is because, when you get an annulment, your marriage is declared voidable. This means that the courts have the power to rule that the marriage was never valid. Once the annulment is issued, it is as if the marriage never took place.
There Are Several Reasons Why You May Want to Have Your Marriage Annulled
You may be wondering why someone would contact a Woodlands divorce attorney to get a marriage annulment. Why wouldn’t you just get a divorce? Not only are divorces expensive, but they can take a long time. With an annulment, on the other hand, your marriage can be voided within a matter of weeks. This will leave you free to marry somebody else.
In order for your divorce lawyer in Texas to get your annulment granted, you must demonstrate that one of the following is true:
- One of you was under the age of 18 at the time of the wedding.
- You or your spouse were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage.
- You were forced to get married due to duress, fraud, or undue influence.
- You or your spouse were not mentally capable of getting married.
- You learn that your spouse lied about being divorced before they met you.
- There were less than 72 hours between the marriage license being issued and your wedding.
There are other potential reasons your Woodlands divorce attorney can cite as the reason for your marriage annulment. When you meet with one of our divorce lawyers in Texas for the first time, make sure you tell them what basis you plan on referencing in your annulment.
Your Woodlands Divorce Attorney Can Explain the Difference Between an Annulment and a Divorce
When you first meet with your Woodlands divorce attorney, you may not be sure what your rights are. Some people assume that they cannot get their marriage annulled because more than a few months have gone by. They figure they have no choice but to file for divorce.
When you sit down with your divorce lawyer in Texas, they will review your situation and let you know what your options are. Since it is a lot faster (and a lot cheaper) to get a marriage annulment, that may be the route your attorney thinks you should take.
You Must Meet Certain Criteria to Have Your Annulment Approved
In order for your divorce lawyer in Texas to convince the court that they should grant you an annulment, they must show that you meet the criteria for a marriage annulment. First, you must cite one of the legal grounds for annulment.
For example, you may be able to show that you were drunk at the time of the divorce. Or you may be able to demonstrate that you were forced to get married or that your spouse lied about who they were.
The second thing you need to prove is that you haven’t done anything to hold yourself out as being legally married. The courts usually give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’re asking for an annulment for a legitimate reason.
It becomes quite complicated, however, when you and your spouse have had children together. The same thing is true if you buy property together or run a business together. If you hold yourself out to the community as a legally married couple, it is difficult to convince a court that your marriage isn’t legitimate.
Consult a Divorce Lawyer in Texas if You Want to Move Forward with an Annulment
If you realize that your marriage was a mistake and you wish to get it annulled, you should contact our office right away. While you are legally allowed to handle this sort of thing on your own, it may not be the best idea.
Our divorce lawyers in Texas have handled hundreds of marriage annulment cases before. They know the law and they know what the courts are looking for when it comes to granting an annulment.
One word of caution our Woodlands divorce attorneys offer is that you don’t want to wait too long to file for an annulment. The longer you and your spouse are together, the harder it will be to convince a judge that the marriage was not solidified.
That’s why we suggest you call our office as soon as you consider filing for a marriage annulment. This way, your divorce lawyer in Texas has plenty of time to prepare for your case. They will also have time to find out what your spouse’s position is and try to get them on board.