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When can you get an annulment instead of a divorce?

There are some things in life you wish had never happened. The haircut you had in your senior pictures, your horrible first job – even the marriage you now feel trapped in. Like many Texas residents with less-than-ideal marriages, you might feel like your only option is to seek a divorce. However, in some cases, couples may have their marriage annulled. The rules for annulments are limited, however, so it is important to understand how this area of family law operates.

FindLaw explains that an annulment dissolves a marriage as if it had never existed. If your marriage is annulled, it does not show up in court records. Annulments are preferable to some people who belong to religions that discourage divorce, and they can give a sense of relief to those who wish the marriage had never happened. To get your marriage annulled, you would need to meet one of the following conditions:

  • You or your spouse was under the age of 14 or 18 when the wedding occurred.
  • Your spouse is a blood relative – such as a cousin or even more closely related.
  • You discovered your spouse was still legally married to another person – also known as bigamy – when you married him or her.
  • You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, placed under duress or fraudulently deceived into the marriage.
  • You or your spouse were mentally incapable of consenting to the marriage.
  • Your spouse knowingly concealed impotence from you.

It is important to act swiftly if you believe you qualify for an annulment, as you may have a time limit, depending on the circumstances. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer, since it is a complicated area of law.

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