Sometimes, the circumstances surrounding a marriage make it untenable to continue. Many Texas residents believe that the only way out of a marriage is through divorce. However, that is not always the case.
In some instances, an annulment could be the better choice. Legally, an annulment erases the marriage as though it never happened. In contrast, in a divorce, the law recognizes that there was a marriage, but now it is dissolved.
An annulment is possible only under certain circumstances. For example, if a Texas resident discovers that his or her spouse was not legally divorced at the time of the marriage, it could be annulled. Any other fraud or deception might also be grounds to have the marriage legally invalidated. If the marriage took place under duress, that might also make a spouse eligible.
If one spouse discovers that the other is mentally incompetent or abuses alcohol or drugs, he or she could pursue an annulment instead of a divorce. Another reason would be if the parties were unable to consummate their marriage due to impotency. Age restrictions could also lead to an annulment. If one party is under the age of 18 or worse yet, under the age of 14, this could be the appropriate course of action. In some cases, blood relatives end up married, which is contrary to state law.
People sometimes discover that the person they married is not the person they thought. If applied for within the statutory time line, it might be possible to be legally restored as a single person instead of a divorced person. This might not matter to some people, but to others, a divorce is not enough. The marriage and its events remain in a person’s memory, but legally, it might never have happened. To ensure that an annulment is the proper course of action, it would be beneficial to discuss the matter with an attorney who can also provide guidance and assistance throughout the process.
Source: FindLaw, “Texas Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws“, April 10, 2017