Annulling a Marriage
What can our Austin family lawyers do for you?
A few years ago, Britney Spears made headlines for filing for an annulment. After tying the knot in Las Vegas, Spears filed paperwork for an annulment, explaining the following: she "lacked understanding of her actions to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to marriage because before entering into the marriage the plaintiff and defendant did not know each other's likes and dislikes, each other's desires to have or not have children, and each other's desires as to state of residency." Why did Spears file for an annulment instead of a divorce? Do you qualify for an annulment, or should you pursue a divorce?
These are all questions our attorneys are prepared to answer for you. Marriage is a major step in life, one that should only be taken with full consideration of the consequences. State law allows some couples to have their marriage legally annulled, but only under certain specific circumstances. The court will not grant a frivolous annulment such as when the couple has simply had second thoughts, so you should come to Menduni Martindill, PLLC to speak with one of our attorneys about your eligibility before taking any action.
Legal Conditions for Annulment
Chapter 6 of the Texas Family Code details the conditions under which you can annul your marriage. These include:
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage and did not have the capacity to consent;
- Your spouse suffers from impotency;
- The other party used fraud, duress or force to induce you to marry;
- You did not have mental capacity to marry due to mental illness;
- Your spouse did not reveal to you the fact of having divorced another person within the past 30 days;
- You married within 72 hours of receiving your marriage license; and
- One of the parties is under the age of 16.
Factors to Consider
If a spouse lied about their capacity to have children or that they had reached the age of consent, when they had not, or if they are married to someone else-an annulment is possible. Also, if a spouse concealed an addiction, a felony conviction, children from a past relationship or a sexually transmitted disease, you could be able to annul your marriage. Other valid reasons include: refusal or inability to have a sexual relationship and misunderstandings, such as over wanting/not wanting to have children. Common law grounds state these reasons succinctly:
- Undisclosed prior marriage
- Inability to obtain a legal divorce/or permission to remarry
- Marriage was intended to be a mock marriage
- Under age consent
- Proxy marriage
- Incestuous relationship
- Mental incapacity
- Temporary insanity
If you entered a marriage not fully aware of one of these issues, you could be eligible for an annulment. There are strict guidelines for qualifying for an annulment under the above circumstances however. For example, if you married while intoxicated but voluntarily cohabited with your spouse after becoming sober, the judge will not annul the marriage. Similarly, you must prove that you had no knowledge of your spouse's recent divorce. Contact the legal team at Menduni Martindill, PLLC today and see what a qualified Austin family lawyer can do for your case.