Texas state laws governing annulment can be found in Chapter 6 under the state’s Family Code, particularly subchapter B: Grounds for Annulment. However, we’ve broken it down for you and tried to put it in a way a human might understand. There are around eleven reasons that one may be granted an annulment in Texas. We’ll go through and list the most common and what is needed to qualify. As you’ll see, some are obvious, some not so obvious.
Keep in mind an annulment is not to be confused with Divorce. Annulments are tools that courts can use to make it so the marriage essentially never happened (at least as far as the law is concerned). There’s no need for custody hearings or mediations to divide up assets.
According to Sec. 6.106 of the Texas Family Code, annulment if the man can’t get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. However, it isn’t that black and white, and there are quite a bit of “conditions” that the “situation” must fall into for annulment to be granted on these grounds.
Spouse Was Permanently Impotent When Marriage Took Place
This states that it cannot have just had this issue but was unable to keep or sustain an erection at the time of marriage. In some sense, this would invalidate the apparent need to use the law. However, if the condition can develop at any time, perhaps there’s no need to apply added pressure to a certain party.
You Didn’t Know This Was An Issue When You Got Married
Given Texas is among the most religious states in the country, an agreement of voluntary celibacy (no sex until marriage) is not all that uncommon. According to Pew Research, 64% of the population claims to be “highly religious.” Perhaps surprising to some, this only puts Texas tied for 11th in the country (with Utah). The top ten is mostly southern states, with Alabama tying with Mississippi for the top spot (77% of adults say they are highly religious).
You Haven’t Lived With The Spouse Since You Found Out About The Issue
The third and final stipulation for impotence-related annulments in Texas is that you immediately stopped living with the spouse as soon as you found out about the issue in question. Again, this is a little tricky and perhaps difficult on the woman because, after all, impotence is a treatable medical condition.
As is consistent with the rest of the country, all marriages involving incest can be annulled by the state. However, definitions of incest can vary across the country, and Texas defines it as “closer than first cousins.” What’s closer than first cousins? According to Section 6.206, “marriage is void if a party is a current or former stepchild or stepparent of the other party.”
One Party Was Already Married
Another staple across the country, if it can be proved that one of the spouses was already in a marriage (or was in the process of finalizing a marriage) then the marriage can be annulled.
The Person Was Under The Age of 18 And Did Not Have Parental Consent
Under Sec. 6.102, the law stipulates how courts should handle annulments when children are between the awkward 16 and 18 years of age. Bills such as the Romeo and Juliet Law have tried to target this delicate but in cases such as Gay Marriage, it’s left the state with loopholes in the law.
The court may grant an annulment of a marriage of a person 16 years of age or older but under 18 years of age that occurred without parental consent or without a court order as provided by Subchapters B and E, Chapter 2.Sec. 6.102
If The Court Says So
Section 6.104 grants court the power to just annul a marriage in the presence of strong evidence. Additionally, there are two stipulations that govern what conditions must be met for a court to do so.
An annulment under Section 6.102 of a marriage may be granted at the discretion of the court sitting without a jury.
When considering whether to grant an annulment, the court must weigh what the bill states is “all the relevant facts.” However, the bill goes one step further and specifically states that one such fact that must be considered is “whether the female is pregnant.”
Given Texas is considered old-fashioned, it’s not too hard to see where this bill came from.
One Of The Parties Was Under The Influence of Alcohol
The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:
- When the two were married, the spouse requesting the annulment was under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs and was therefore not able to consent.
- The spouse in question must not have lived with the other spouse since “the effects of the alcoholic beverages or narcotics ended.”
Who Can File An Annulment?
Noting the section above concerning underage marriage, amendments were put in place to deal with what would happen if such an event took place. Therefore under Sec. 6.103, suits to annul a marriage cannot be filed “by a parent, managing conservator, or guardian of a person after the 18th birthday of the person.”
Essentially if a parent or guardian wants to file for an annulment on behalf of their underage daughter or son in the State of Texas, the child must be under the age of 18 at the time of filing (not the time of marriage).
Note that this post was last updated July 13, 2021, after the last legislative session. Should Texas courts overturn existing annulment laws, or should a reader spot an error, we’ll update the relevant part of the page and update this section noting the change.