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When can you annul your marriage?

While most couples who want to end a marriage choose to divorce, others prefer an annulment. Unlike divorce, an annulment dissolves the marriage as if it never existed in the first place. If you believe that your spouse defrauded or deceived you, you may be able to argue that the union was invalid in the first place.

In Texas, you can seek an annulment for only a few reasons.

Undisclosed marriage and divorce

What if you discover that your partner had a different spouse before you? If you find out your spouse received a divorce 30 days or less before your wedding, the courts may allow you to annul the marriage. To obtain an annulment, you must prove that you did not know of the divorce and that no reasonable person would know it.

Married under the influence of drugs or alcohol

The law recognizes that people do not always make sound decisions when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You cannot enter most legally binding contracts while under the influence. If you had too many drinks before deciding to marry your partner, you might be able to annul it. However, you do not qualify for annulment if you and your spouse lived together following the wedding.

Remember that if you annul your marriage, you will still have to attend court hearings to determine child custody and support. While an annulment may allow you to skip property division, you must still arrive in family court for your children.