Most people assume that an annulment is only available to people who got married when they were young. This is the way television and movies make it appear. However, our Woodlands divorce attorneys have handled plenty of annulment cases.
Many of the cases we’ve handled did not involve young people. In fact, you’d be surprised at the various grounds for an annulment in Texas.
What Is an Annulment and How Is It Different From a Divorce?
A lot of people confuse an annulment with a divorce. It is true that both actions will make you a free person again. However, there is a big difference between the two events.
When people have been married for a while and decide that they no longer want to be together, they file for a divorce. As part of the divorce process, you will have to divide your marital assets and come up with a reasonable child custody arrangement.
With an annulment, you are essentially asking the court to pretend the marriage never took place. Once your annulment is granted, it is as if you were never married in the first place.
Furthermore, the annulment cases our divorce lawyers in The Woodlands handle don’t involve children or the division of property.
A Divorce Ends a Legal Marriage
When you get a divorce, the court is dissolving a legal marriage. They are acknowledging that the marriage existed. Any actions that took place during the course of your marriage will be considered joint actions between you and your spouse.
An Annulment Makes It Like the Marriage Never Took Place
When you file for an annulment, it’s usually because you’ve decided that you wish the marriage never took place. It’s like you’re rewinding the clock, erasing the fact that a wedding took place.
If your spouse refuses to consent to the annulment, it may become more difficult. Depending on their reasons for refusing, your Woodlands divorce attorney may need to consider filing for divorce instead. However, in most of the cases we handle, the spouse s just as eager to have the annulment granted as our client.
Your Woodlands Divorce Attorney Will Explain if There Are Any Residency Requirements
When a person in Texas files for divorce, they need to prove that they’ve lived in-state for at least six months. Plus, you have to prove that you have lived in the county in which you file for the previous ninety days.
With an annulment, there is no residence requirement. As long as you or your spouse live in Texas when you file for the annulment, that is sufficient. You can also satisfy the requirements by showing that your marriage took place in Texas.
Your Woodlands Divorce Attorney Must List the Grounds for Your Annulment
When your divorce lawyer in The Woodlands files for your annulment, they’ll have to list your grounds for the annulment. You have to do the same thing when you file for divorce.
Basically, you need to provide the court with a legitimate reason for why they should grant your annulment. You must remember that when your Woodlands divorce attorney requests the annulment, they are asking the court to void a contract. It’s critical that they know what the basis is for doing so.
What Are Some of the More Common Grounds for Annulment?
Most people are familiar with some of the more common grounds for annulment in Texas. For example, if you or your spouse were under the age of 18 at the time of the wedding, you will qualify for an annulment.
The same is true if you meet any of the following grounds for annulment.
- Your spouse is permanently impotent.
- Your spouse lied about being divorced before.
- Your spouse is cruel and abusive toward you.
- You don’t believe you or your spouse had the mental capacity to agree to the marriage.
- Your spouse is addicted to alcohol or drugs.
Of course, there are several other grounds you can cite when filing for your annulment. These are just some of the more common.
Your Divorce Lawyer in The Woodlands Will Have to Prove the Grounds are True
It isn’t enough to list the grounds for the annulment. Your Woodlands divorce attorney will also have to prove that the grounds are true.
Depending on the reason you cite for the annulment, this could be easy or difficult. For example, if you and your spouse were underage, that won’t be hard to prove.
If your grounds are that your spouse is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they may not want to admit to this. Your divorce lawyer in The Woodlands may have to get proof from a recent rehabilitation program confirming that your spouse was a patient.
Can Your Spouse Challenge Your Request for an Annulment?
Just like with a divorce, your spouse has the right to challenge your request for an annulment. They’ll have the chance to respond to your petition. If they don’t believe the marriage should be annulled, they can communicate this to the court.
You may wonder why somebody would want to stay married to someone that doesn’t want to be with them. There are all sorts of reasons. For example, your spouse may want to work on the relationship. Or they may be a possessive person who doesn’t want to let you go.
Sit Down With an Experienced Woodlands Divorce Attorney Before You File Any Papers
While there is no law that says you need to be represented by a divorce lawyer in The Woodlands, it is a good idea to meet with one. Filing for an annulment is like filing for a divorce. You need to file the proper paperwork. You also need to make sure you serve your spouse with a copy of the papers.
You also need to make sure you list grounds for your annulment. It’s not enough to say that you wish the marriage had never taken place. You need to be specific about why your divorce should be annulled. You also have to submit evidence justifying your request.
We recommend that you meet with a skilled Woodlands divorce attorney before you make any final decisions. It’s important that you do things properly the first time around. With the courts already running a few months behind, you don’t want it to take any longer than absolutely necessary.