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(Void/Annul Marriage) I want to annul or void my marriage.

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(Void/Annul Marriage) I want to annul or void my marriage.

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

This toolkit includes:

  • Frequently Asked Questions about annulment and void marriages
  • Articles on topics related to annulment and void marriages

Need Help?

WARNING! The information and forms in this toolkit are not legal advice and are not a substitute for the help of a lawyer. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your particular situation.

Instructions & Forms
Answers to Common Questions
What is an annulment?

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.

What is the difference between an annulment and a suit to declare a marriage void?

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.

What is the difference between a divorce and a suit to declare a marriage void?

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. 

Jurisdiction and Venue - Where can I file an annulment?

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. 

What if there are children involved in the annulment?

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. 

Residency - How long do I have to live in Texas to file for an annulment?

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.

What are the requirements for annulling a marriage on the grounds there was fraud, duress, or force involved?

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.

Research Tips

The legal system is complex and it is not possible for TexasLawHelp.org to answer every question you may have. A good option for more to find out more information is to go to a local law library and do your own legal research. Please see the link below for a link to our Guide to the Legal Research Process.

TexasLawHelp Legal Research Guide

Also, please see the link below for a directory of local law libraries available for the public use.

Law Libraries in Texas

If you are not located near a law library you may be able to access more information, if you are a Texas resident, by registering for a free Texas State Law Library Card. With this card you can access a variety of online sources.  Please click the link below for more information.

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Reliable Books/Guides to look for at your local law library.

  • O’Connors Texas Family Law Handbook
  • Texas Family Law Practice Manual
  • Texas Family Code Annotated
  • Texas Jurisprudence

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