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I want to annul or void my marriage.

Annulment & Void Marriages

How to ask a judge to declare a marriage invalid because of reasons that existed at the start of the marriage.
Overview

Guide Overview

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

This guide tells you about getting an annulment when you and your spouse do not have any children together who are younger than 18 (or still in high school).

This guide has information on void marriages but does not yet have forms to declare a marriage void. Please see the research tips section of this guide for more information on finding forms to declare a marriage void. 

Research Tips

The legal system is complex. TexasLawHelp.org does not contain the answers to all questions. If you cannot hire an attorney, visit a law library to conduct legal research. See TexasLawHelp Legal Research Guide for help getting started. Find your nearest law library here: Law Libraries in Texas.

Books and guides to look for at the law library include:

  • O’Connor's Texas Family Law Handbook
  • Texas Family Law Practice Manual
  • Texas Family Code Annotated
  • Texas Jurisprudence

If you are not near a law library, Texas residences may be able to access more information by registering for a free Texas State Law Library Account. With this account, you can access a variety of online sources. 

WestLaw Resources – If your local law library has free WestLaw access you can look for secondary resources called:

  • Texas Practice Series
  • Texas Family Law Service
  • Texas Practice Guide Family Law

Common questions about Annulment & Void Marriages

An annulment is a type of lawsuit where a judge states that a marriage is invalid due to reasons that existed at the start of the marriage. If a judge grants an annulment, the marriage is found to have never have legally existed and legally it will be as though the marriage never happened. The spouses will no longer be married once an annulment has been granted.

Practically however, an annulment can have lasting effects on the spouses to the invalid marriage in the areas of property and children. The annulment statutes can be found in chapter 6 of the Texas Family Code.

Like an annulment, a suit to declare a marriage void focuses on reasons why it wasn’t a valid marriage at the start of the marriage.

 However, unlike an annulment, a void marriage is automatically not legally a valid marriage from the start whether or not a court decides it so.  The parties cannot agree to it being a legally valid marriage.  The Texas Family Code lists specific grounds for void marriages and separate ones for annulments.

A divorce will end a valid marriage.  A suit to declare a marriage void will consider the marriage to not be valid from the beginning and therefore to legally never have existed.

Practically, however, a void marriage can have lasting effects on the spouses to the void marriage in the areas of property and children. 

For the most part, the courts that can decide divorce cases can also decide annulments.  Annulments can also be filed in county courts as well. Call your local district clerk and ask which courts in your county handle annulment cases. 

If there are children adopted by or born to the spouses during the marriage, a suit to set up custody of the children, also known as a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship  (“SAPCR”) must also joined with the annulment.  

Joining a SAPCR with an annulment suit allows the court to make orders for custody, visitation, and child support concerning the children. If your case involves children adopted or born during the marriage and you would like an annulment our forms are not right for you, and you should strongly consider getting help from legal aid or a private attorney through at least limited scope representation before going further. 

To be able to file for an annulment in Texas, either

  1. One of the spouses must live in Texas or
  2. The spouses were married in Texas.

If at least one spouse lives in Texas and is asking for an annulment for a marriage from another state, Texas can grant the annulment but the law of the state where the marriage took place will generally be considered as well.

Generally, an annulment lawsuit can be filed in the county where all or a large part of the relevant facts or acts leading to the annulment happened or where the petitioner or respondent lived when the facts, acts, and marriage took place.

A judge can annul a marriage if a spouse made an important misrepresentation intending to persuade or influence the other spouse into marrying them.  Also, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with his/her spouse since becoming aware of the fraud.

A court can also grant an annulment on the basis of duress or force if the petitioner can show the other spouse threatened them and he/she felt she had no choice but to marry.  Further, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with his/her spouse after no longer being under the influence of the duress or force.

Instructions & Forms

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

These instructions explain the basic steps to ask a court to annul your marriage. Each step includes a link to the form or forms needed for that step.  Click on each step to expand it with more information.

Use these instructions if:

  • you and your spouse do not have any children together and no child is expected, and
  • you and your spouse agree about all the issues and will both sign the necessary court forms.

Do NOT use these instructions if:

  • your spouse does not agree to the annulment, or
  • your case involves a lot of property to be divided.

A lawyer is trained to protect your legal rights. Even if you decide to represent yourself, try to talk to a lawyer about your case before filing anything. Visit the Legal Help Directory or Working with a Private Attorney for more information.

To print out both the instructions and forms, click here.

For instructions and forms in Spanish, click here.

Checklist Steps

You can ask the Court to annul your marriage if:

  • A spouse of the marriage was under age 18, or
    • Note: If a person is between 16 and 18 years of age and married without parental consent or a court order, the marriage may be annulled. (The case is filed by a next friend on the minor’s behalf, a parent, a court-ordered managing conservator, or the minor’s guardian of the person.) Talk with a lawyer if this is the reason you are asking the court for an annulment.
  • A spouse was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, or 
    • Note: The spouse asking for the annulment (the petitioner) was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics to the point that they lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage. In addition, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with the other spouse once the alcohol or drugs had worn off.
  • Either spouse is permanently impotent, or
    • Note: If either party is permanently impotent (unable to have sexual intercourse) at the time of the marriage and the petitioner was unaware of the impotency at the time of the marriage, a judge may grant an annulment. In addition, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with the other spouse since becoming aware of the impotency.
  • A spouse was convinced to marry the other spouse by fraud, duress, or force, or
    • Note: A marriage may be annulled if a spouse made an important misrepresentation intending to persuade or influence the other spouse into marrying them. In addition, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with the other spouse since becoming aware of the fraud or being released from the duress or force.
  • A spouse lacked the mental capacity to enter into the marriage, or
    • Note: A court may order the marriage annulled if either spouse did not have the mental capacity to consent to the marriage or the marriage ceremony. In addition, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with the other spouse during a period of time when the petitioner had the mental capacity to realize he/she is married or after the petitioner discovered the other spouse lacked mental capacity to consent to the marriage.  If the petitioner is asking for annulment because the other spouse lacked mental capacity, the petitioner must also show that he or she did not know or could not reasonably have known that the other spouse lacked capacity.
  • A spouse concealed (hid) a prior divorce, or
    • Note: The petitioner must show that the other spouse was divorced from a third-party within the 30 day window before the marriage and that the petitioner did not know (or a reasonably prudent person could not have known) of the divorce. In addition, the petitioner did not voluntarily live with the other spouse after discovering (or should have discovered) the divorce. The annulment case must be filed within 1 year of the marriage.
  • The spouses were married within 72 hours of the marriage license being issued.
    • Note: To qualify under these facts, the petitioner must file the annulment case within 30 days of the date of the marriage.

If you meet the legal requirements, use these instructions to ask for an annulment by filing a Petition for Annulment of Marriage (called an annulment for short). 

It’s important to file for annulment in the correct county. If you file in the wrong county, your case will be dismissed and you will lose your filing fee.
Generally, you can file for annulment in the county:
  • where all or a large part of the relevant facts or acts leading to the annulment happened, or 
  • where you or the respondent lived when the facts, acts, and marriage took place. 
In addition, you or your spouse must meet these requirements: You or your spouse must live in Texas, or you must have been married in Texas. If neither you nor your spouse meet the requirements, talk with a lawyer. 
 
Annulments can generally be filed in the same courts that hear divorce cases (district courts), and can also be filed in county courts, depending on the county. After you determine the county where you should file your annulment case, call your local district clerk and ask the clerk which court in your county handles annulment cases.
 
Read the Common Questions, Annulment: Answers to Common Questions, for more information. 
 
The Petition asks the judge to annul your marriage. The Petition also tells your spouse what orders you want the judge to make. 
When you fill out the Petition:
  • Print your answers using blue or black ink. Do not leave blanks. 
  • Talk with a lawyer if you have questions or need help. 
Who is the petitioner? You are the petitioner—the person asking the court for an annulment. You must fill out and sign the Petition. No one else needs to sign the Petition.
 
Who is the respondent?  Your spouse is the respondent.
 
Note: The Petition asks for your address. Your spouse will get a copy of the Petition. If you are concerned about your spouse knowing your address, call the Family Violence Legal Line at (800) 374-4673 for free advice.

Fill out these additional starting forms:

Fill out this additional starting form if you cannot afford to pay the filing fee for your case. Call the district or county clerk’s office to learn the filing fee for your annulment case. Learn more here: Court Fees and Fee Waivers.

Make copies:

  • Make 2 copies of your completed Original Petition to Annul Marriage.
  • Make 2 copies of the Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Courts if you are asking the court to waive court costs.
  • You do not need copies of the Civil Case Information Sheet or the Information on Suit Affecting the Family Relationship.
File (turn in) your completed Petition and additional starting forms with the court. 
  • To file your forms online, go to E-File Texas and follow the instructions.
  • To file your forms in person, take the Petition and additional starting forms (and copies) to the district or county clerk’s office in the county you determined is the correct county to file for annulment.  
You need to find out if your county has standing orders. If it does, you will need to attach a copy of the standing orders to your petition. 

At the clerk’s office:
  • Turn in your Petition and other starting forms (and copies). 
  • Pay the filing fee (or file your completed Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs if you cannot afford the fee). You can call the clerk’s office ahead of time to learn the filing fee for your case.
  • Ask the clerk if there is a local standing order that you need to follow or attach to any of your documents. 
  • Ask the clerk if there are local rules or procedures—like standing orders—that you need to know about for your annulment.
  • The clerk will write your “Cause Number” and “Court Number” at the top of the first page of your Petition.  (Write these numbers at the top of any document you file in your annulment case.)
  • The clerk will “file stamp” your copies with the date and time. The clerk will keep the original and give you back your copies. One copy is for you and one copy is for your spouse.

Give your spouse:

WARNING! Do not hand-deliver any papers to your spouse if there has been violence during your relationship, especially if a judge has signed a Protective Order ordering you or your spouse to stay away from the other. You can have your spouse served instead.  If you need to have your spouse served, use these instructions instead: Instructions & Forms for a Default Annulment of Marriage without Children in the checklist below this one.

Ask your spouse to:

  • (1) Fill out and sign the Respondent’s Original Answer form - OR - the Waiver of Service Only form. Your spouse can fill out and sign either form.
    • The Waiver of Service Only form must be signed in front of a notary. If your spouse plans to sign the Waiver of Service Only form, tell your spouse to sign it in front of a notary at least one day after you filed the Petition. Otherwise, your spouse will have to redo it.
    • The Respondent’s Original Answer form does not have to be signed in front of a notary.
    • Note: If your spouse will not fill out and sign a Respondent’s Original Answer form or Waiver of Service Only form, you must have your spouse served by a constable, sheriff or private process server. Use these instructions instead: Instructions & Forms for a Default Annulment of Marriage without Children in the checklist below this one.
  • (2) Return the signed form to you.
    • Tip: If your annulment is agreed, your spouse must also sign a completed Decree of Annulment form. It may save you time to fill out the Decree of Annulment form now and send it to your spouse with the Answer or Waiver of Service.  Read Step 6 for information about filling out the Decree. You can also wait until later in the process to fill out the Decree of Annulment form.

WARNING! ​As of January 1, 2021, once a party to a family law case (such as an annulment) files an answer, waiver of service, or counterpetition, both sides usually must exchange certain information and documents within 30 days. This applies for suits filed on or after January 1, 2021. Talk to a lawyer about exceptions. Complete the Required Initial Disclosures form. See Rule 11 Agreements for information (and forms) about one way to waive required disclosures by agreement. Otherwise, complete the Required Initial Disclosures form. 

Fill out the Decree of Annulment.

You will ask the judge to sign your Decree of Annulment form when it’s time to finish your annulment. When signed by the judge, the Decree of Annulment makes orders that your marriage is null and void, and that you have accumulated no community property other than personal effects. It may include other orders depending on your case.

The Decree of Annulment form must be completely filled out (except for the judge’s signature) before you go to court. You and your spouse may want to fill out the Decree of Annulment form together.

When you fill out the Decree of Annulment:

  • Print your answers using blue or black ink.
  • Do not leave blanks.
  • Talk to a lawyer if you have questions or need help.

Tip: It’s a good idea to have a family law lawyer review your completed Decree of Annulment. You can hire a lawyer just to review your Decree of Annulment. This is called “limited scope representation.” You may also be able to talk with a lawyer for free at a legal clinic. If you need help finding a lawyer, you can:

Ask your spouse to:

  • review and sign your completed Decree of Annulment form, and
  • return the signed Decree of Annulment form to you. 

Note: Make sure the Decree of Annulment form is completely filled out before your spouse signs it. You CANNOT make changes to the Decree once it has been signed by your spouse, unless your spouse initials each change.

You will also:

  • sign the Decree of Annulment form - and -
  • keep the signed Decree of Annulment form until it is time to finish your case.

Note: If your spouse filed an answer or waiver of service only but will not sign the Decree of Annulment form, your annulment is contested.  To finish a contested annulment, you must set a contested final hearing. You must give your spouse at least 45 days’ notice of the final hearing. Read this article to learn more: How to Set a Contested Final Hearing (in a Family Law Case).  It’s always best to have a lawyer if your case is contested

Call the clerk’s office to find out when and where the court hears uncontested annulment cases.

You must give testimony to the judge when you go to court to finish your annulment. This is sometimes called “prove-up” testimony. You will testify about each of the points in your petition form. Remember, everything you say in court must be true and correct.  You can be charged with a crime for lying in court.

Read the article Tips for the Courtroom for more information about going to Court.

Bring these papers to the courthouse on the day you plan to finish your annulment:

  • A file-stamped copy of your Original Petition to Annul Marriage.  
  • A Waiver of Service or Answer filled out and signed by your spouse.
  • A Decree of Annulment completely filled out and signed by both you and your spouse. ​

When you get to the courthouse, go to the clerk’s office.

  • Ask the clerk if you need the court file or docket sheet (list of what has been filed in your case).

When you get to the courtroom, tell the clerk you are there and give the clerk your paperwork. Sit down until the judge calls your case.

When the judge calls your case, walk to the front of the courtroom and stand in front of the judge’s bench. The judge will ask you to raise your right hand and swear to tell the truth. The judge may ask you questions or may ask you to read your testimony. It’s a good idea to write down everything you want to say so you can read it to the judge if you get nervous.

The judge will listen to what you say and review your papers. If everything is in order the judge will sign your Decree of Annulment.

After the judge signs your Decree of Annulment, go back to the clerk’s office.

  • File (turn in) your Decree of Annulment and any other orders signed by the judge. Your annulment is NOT final until you do so.
  • Get a certified copy of your Decree of Annulment and any other orders signed by the judge from the clerk while you are there. The clerk may charge a fee for the certified copies.  

Send a file-stamped copy of your Decree of Annulment and any other orders signed by the judge to your spouse.

Forms Required

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

These instructions explain the basic steps in a default annulment without children. Each step includes a link to the form or forms needed for that step.  Click on each step to expand it with more information.

“Default” means you have your spouse served with the initial annulment papers and your spouse does not file an answer with the court. If your spouse is served and defaults (does not file an answer with the court), you can finish your annulment without your spouse.

Use these instructions if:

  • you and your spouse do not have any children together and no child is expected, and 
  • you don’t think your spouse will participate in the annulment process.

A lawyer is trained to protect your legal rights. Even if you decide to represent yourself, try to talk to a lawyer about your case before filing anything. Visit the Legal Help Directory or Working with a Private Attorney for more information. 

Checklist Steps

You can ask the Court to annul your marriage if:

  • A spouse of the marriage was under age 18, or
    • Note: If a person is between 16 and 18 years of age and married without parental consent or a court order, the marriage may be annulled. (The case is filed by a next friend on the minor’s behalf, a parent, a court-ordered managing conservator, or the minor’s guardian of the person.) Talk with a lawyer if this is the reason you are asking the court for an annulment.
  • A spouse was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, or
    • Note: The spouse asking for the annulment (the petitioner) was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics to the point that they lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage. In addition, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with the other spouse once the alcohol or drugs had worn off.
  • Either spouse is permanently impotent, or
    • Note: If either party is permanently impotent (unable to have sexual intercourse) at the time of the marriage and the petitioner was unaware of the impotency at the time of the marriage, a judge may grant an annulment. In addition, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with the other spouse since becoming aware of the impotency.
  • A spouse was convinced to marry the other spouse by fraud, duress, or force, or
    • Note: A marriage may be annulled if a spouse made an important misrepresentation intending to persuade or influence the other spouse into marrying them. In addition, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with the other spouse since becoming aware of the fraud or being released from the duress or force.
  • A spouse lacked the mental capacity to enter into the marriage, or
    • Note: A court may order the marriage annulled if either spouse did not have the mental capacity to consent to the marriage or the marriage ceremony. In addition, the petitioner must not have voluntarily lived with the other spouse during a period of time when the petitioner had the mental capacity to realize he/she is married or after the petitioner discovered the other spouse lacked mental capacity to consent to the marriage.  If the petitioner is asking for annulment because the other spouse lacked mental capacity, the petitioner must also show that he or she did not know or could not reasonably have known that the other spouse lacked capacity.
  • A spouse concealed (hid) a prior divorce, or
    • Note: The petitioner must show that the other spouse was divorced from a third-party within the 30 day window before the marriage and that the petitioner did not know (or a reasonably prudent person could not have known) of the divorce. In addition, the petitioner did not voluntarily live with the other spouse after discovering (or should have discovered) the divorce. The annulment case must be filed within 1 year of the marriage.
  • The spouses were married within 72 hours of the marriage license being issued.
    • Note: To qualify under these facts, the petitioner must file the annulment case within 30 days of the date of the marriage.

If you meet the legal requirements, use these instructions to ask for an annulment by filing a Petition for Annulment of Marriage (called an annulment for short). 

It’s important to file for annulment in the correct county. If you file in the wrong county, your case will be dismissed and you will lose your filing fee.

Generally, you can file for annulment in the county:

  • where all or a large part of the relevant facts or acts leading to the annulment happened, or
  • where you or the respondent lived when the facts, acts, and marriage took place.

In addition, you or your spouse must meet these requirements: You or your spouse must live in Texas, or you must have been married in Texas. If neither you nor your spouse meet the requirements, talk with a lawyer.

Annulments can generally be filed in the same courts that hear divorce cases (district courts), and can also be filed in county courts, depending on the county. After you determine the county where you should file your annulment case, call your local district clerk and ask the clerk which court in your county handles annulment cases.

Read the Common Questions, Annulment: Answers to Common Questions, for more information. 

Fill out an Original Petition to Annul Marriage (Petition) form.

The Petition asks the judge to annul your marriage. The Petition also tells your spouse what orders you want the judge to make.

      When you fill out the Petition:

  • Print your answers using blue or black ink. Do not leave blanks.
  • Talk with a lawyer if you have questions or need help.

Who is the petitioner? You are the petitioner—the person asking the court for an annulment. You must fill out and sign the Petition. No one else needs to sign the Petition.

      Who is the respondent?  Your spouse is the respondent.

      Note: The Petition asks for your address. Your spouse will get a copy of the Petition. If you are concerned about your spouse knowing your address, call the Family Violence Legal Line at 1-800-374-4673 for free advice.

Fill out these additional starting forms:

Fill out this additional starting form if you cannot afford to pay the filing fee for your case. Call the district or county clerk’s office to learn the filing fee for your annulment case. Learn more here: Court Fees and Fee Waivers.

Make copies:

File (turn in) your completed Petition and additional starting forms with the court.

Find out if your county has standing orders. If it does, attach a copy of the standing orders to your petition. 

  • To file your forms online, go to E-File Texas and follow the instructions.
     
  • To file your forms in person, take the Petition and additional starting forms (and copies) to the district or county clerk’s office in the county you determined is the correct county to file for annulment. 

At the clerk’s office:

  • Turn in your Petition and other starting forms (and copies).
     
  • Tell the clerk you want to have your spouse served in person. This means a sheriff, constable or private process server will deliver the initial annulment papers to your spouse in person. (Remember: If your spouse will agree to sign the necessary court forms, you do not need to have your spouse served. Follow these instructions instead:  Instructions & Forms for an Agreed Annulment of Marriage without Children.) in the checklist above.
     
  • Pay the filing fee and issuance fee (or file your completed Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs if you cannot afford the fee). You can call the clerk’s office ahead of time to learn the amount of the fees for your case.
     
  • Ask the clerk if there is a local standing order that you need to follow or attach to any of your documents.
     
  • Ask the clerk if there are local rules or procedures you need to know about for your annulment—such as standing orders that you have to attach to the petition.
     
  • The clerk will write your “Cause Number” and “Court Number” at the top of the first page of your Petition. (Write these numbers at the top of any document you file in your annulment case.)
     
  • The clerk will “file stamp” your copies with the date and time. The clerk will keep the original and give you back your copies. One copy is for you and one copy is for your spouse.
     
  • The clerk will print a form called a “citation.” The citation tells your spouse that you have filed for annulment. The citation also tells your spouse that unless he or she files an answer with the court you will be able to finish your annulment case by default (without your spouse). The clerk will attach the other copy of your Petition to the citation. The citation with a copy of your Petition attached are the “initial annulment papers” that must be served on your spouse by a constable, sheriff or private process server. Read Step 5 for instructions.

You must have your spouse served with the initial annulment papers.

      To have your spouse served in person:

  • send the initial annulment papers to a constable, sheriff or private process server in the county where your spouse lives or works,
  • include the service fee (call first to learn the fee) or a file-stamped copy of your Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs,
  • also include a self-addressed and stamped envelope.

The constable, sheriff or private process server will:

  • give the initial annulment papers to your spouse,
  • complete a Return of Service form that says when and where your spouse was served,
  • send the completed Return of Service to you or the court.

The completed Return of Service is proof your spouse was served. Your spouse will NOT have to sign anything.

If the Return of Service is sent to you, file it at the clerk’s office. The Return of Service must be on file for at least 10 days before you can finish your case, not counting the day it is filed or the day you go to court to finish your case.

NOTE: Getting your spouse served in person is best. However, there are other ways to get someone served. To learn about more, read: How to Serve the Initial Court Papers. If you have questions, you can use Ask a Question to chat with a lawyer or law student online.

 

Fill out the Decree of Annulment form: Decree of Annulment.

You will ask the judge to sign your Decree of Annulment form when it’s time to finish your annulment. When signed by the judge, the Decree of Annulment makes orders that your marriage is null and void, and that you have accumulated no community property other than personal effects. It may include other orders depending on your case.

The Decree of Annulment form must be completely filled out (except for the judge’s signature) before you go to court.

When you fill out the Decree of Annulment

  • Print your answers using blue or black ink.
  • Do not leave blanks.
  • Talk to a lawyer if you have questions or need help.

TIP: It’s a good idea to have a family law lawyer review your completed Decree of Annulment. You can hire a lawyer just to review your Decree of Annulment. This is called “limited scope representation.” You may also be able to talk with a lawyer for free at a legal clinic. If you need help finding a lawyer, you can:

Wait the waiting periods that apply to your case.

  • 20 + day waiting period – From the day your spouse is served, your spouse must have at least 20 days plus the next Monday at 10:00 a.m. to file an Answer.  Find the day your spouse was served on a calendar, count out 20 more days, then go to the next Monday. Your spouse must have until this date to file an answer.  If your spouse does not file an answer by this date (and all other requirements have been met) you can finish your case by default without your spouse. 
    • Note: Your spouse can file an answer up until the time you finish your annulment case, even if the 20 + day waiting period has already passed.
  • 10 + day waiting period - The constable, sheriff, or private process server should have completed a Return of Service form stating when your spouse was served. The Return of Service form must be on file with the court for at least 10 days before you can finish your case.  Important: When counting the 10 day waiting period, do not count the day the Return of Service is filed with the court and do not count the day you go to court to finish your case.
  • Call the clerk’s office to find out if your spouse filed an answer. 

If your spouse filed an answer, you CANNOT finish your annulment by default. 

​​If your spouse has NOT filed an answer, you CAN finish your annulment by default as long as all of the following are true.

  • Your spouse was successfully served by a constable, sheriff or private process server. 
  • A Return of Service form (stating when and where your spouse was served) has been on file with the clerk’s office for at least 10 days (not counting the day it was filed or the day you go to court). 
  • The 20 + day waiting period for your spouse to file an answer has passed. 
  • Your spouse has not filed an answer and does not file an answer before you finish your annulment. (Remember, your spouse can file an answer up until the time you finish your annulment, even if the 20 + day waiting period has already passed.) 

If you CAN finish your annulment by default, fill out these additional forms and make 1 copy of each form:

  • Call the clerk’s office to find out when and where the court hears uncontested annulment cases. ​
  •  Call the clerk’s office again the day before you plan to go to court to make sure your spouse still has not filed an answer.  If your spouse has filed an answer, you cannot finish your case by default. Go back to Step 8.​
  •  You must give testimony to the judge when you go to court to finish your annulment. This is sometimes called “prove-up” testimony. You will testify about each of the points in your petition form. Remember, everything you say in court must be true and correct.  You can be charged with a crime for lying in court.
  • Read the article Tips for the Courtroom for more information about going to Court.
Bring these papers to the courthouse on the day you plan to finish your annulment:
  • A file-stamped copy of your Original Petition to Annul Marriage.  
  • A file-stamped copy of the Return of Service form showing when and where your spouse was served. 
  • A completely filled out Decree of Annulment signed by you.
  • A completed Certificate of Last Known Address form and 1 copy. 
  • A completed Declaration of Military Status (or Affidavit of Military Status) and 1 copy. 
  • If your spouse was served by posting, a completed Statement of the Evidence. 
  • If your spouse was served by publication, a completed Statement of the Evidence and the lawyer you hired to serve as attorney ad litem for your spouse. 

When you get to the courthouse, go to the clerk’s office

  • Ask the clerk if you need the court file or docket sheet (list of what has been filed in your case).
  • Ask the clerk to check one more time to see if your spouse has filed an answer. If your spouse has filed an answer, you will not be able to finish your case by default. Go back to Step 8.
  • File the Certificate of Last Known Address and the Declaration of Military Status (or Affidavit of Military Status). Ask the clerk to file stamp your copy of each form. Bring a file-stamped copy of each form with you to court.

When you get to the courtroom, tell the clerk you are there and give the clerk your paperwork. Sit down until the judge calls your case.


When the judge calls your case, walk to the front of the courtroom and stand in front of the judge’s bench. The judge will ask you to raise your right hand and swear to tell the truth. The judge may ask you questions or may ask you to read your testimony. It’s a good idea to write down everything you want to say so you can read it to the judge if you get nervous.


The judge will listen to what you say and review your papers. If everything is in order the judge will sign your Decree of Annulment.

After the judge signs your Decree of Annulment, go back to the clerk’s office. 
  • File (turn in) your Decree of Annulment and any other orders signed by the judge. Your annulment is NOT final until you do so. 
  • Get a certified copy of your Decree of Annulment and any other orders signed by the judge from the clerk while you are there. The clerk may charge a fee for the certified copies.  

Send a file-stamped copy of your Decree of Annulment and any other orders signed by the judge to your spouse.

Forms Required

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