Annulment of Marriage in Texas

An annulment is a legal process that invalidates your Texas marriage. The court examines what happened before your wedding and determines that officials should never have recognized your union. 

After an annulment, you’re officially single again. You’re not technically divorced because your marriage never technically happened. From a legal standpoint, you were never married. 

How is an annulment different from a divorce in Texas?

Both divorces and annulments end marriages, but they are different legal remedies for people in Texas.

Understanding annulment in Texas

You can use a Texas annulment to end a marriage that never should have happened in the first place. You must prove why that wedding was invalid, which often means proving someone did something wrong.

You don’t have to live in Texas for a specific time before you can file for an annulment, but at least one of you must live in the state when you file the annulment paperwork, or, one of you must have lived in the state when you got married.

If you share children, you will need to file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). This can help you settle where your children will live and how much one party might pay the other for child support.

At the end of an annulment, you can get married again. Until you remarry, you’re formally considered a single person, as though your marriage never happened.

Understanding divorce in Texas

You can also use divorce to end a marriage, and you don’t have to prove anyone did anything wrong to get one. Texas is a no-fault divorce state, so you can cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for your split. The court won’t ask for proof.

You must meet residency requirements to file for divorce. You can file in the district where either party has lived for the last 90 days, and one of you must have lived in Texas for the last six months.

You can use a Texas divorce to settle child custody and support questions. The process is comprehensive and designed to help you split your estate fairly.

At the end of the divorce process, you become divorced. You can get married again, but your status remains divorced until you do so.

What are the grounds for a Texas annulment?

Texas courts officiate marriages, and they require proof before they declare them invalid. That proof is called grounds.

You may have grounds for an annulment if one of these situations applies to your marriage:

  •       One of you was younger than 18 on your wedding day.
  •       One of you was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when you got married.
  •       One of you is permanently impotent.
  •       One of you used fraud or force to make the other get married, including hiding a prior divorce.
  •       One of you doesn't have the mental capacity to agree to marriage.
  •       One of you concealed the fact that they had been married before.
  •       You got married less than 72 hours after you got the marriage license.

If you don't meet one of these criteria, you could still get a divorce, but you can't ask for an annulment.

What are the grounds for declaring a marriage void?

You could use an annulment to end a marriage that never should have happened. In some cases, you could also declare that marriage simply void.

A void marriage is one that was invalid due to the Texas Family Code. A marriage like this involves one of the following:

  •   The spouses are close relatives (like a parent and child).
  •   One party is still married to someone else.
  •   One person is younger than 18 and doesn’t have an emancipation court order.
  •   The parties are stepparent and stepchild, or they once were.

What is the process for getting a Texas annulment?

Getting a Texas annulment requires following a step-by-step process:

  •       Meet residency requirements. One of you must live in Texas, or your wedding must have taken place in Texas.
  •       Choose your court. You should file in the county where the majority of the issues leading to the annulment took place.
  •       Fill out the form. Locate this Petition to Annul Marriage form. The person who fills it out is the petitioner, while the other party is the respondent. The form is only four pages long, and it’s very easy to understand.
  •       File your documents. In addition to your original, make two copies. Bring all three of these to court, where the clerk will stamp them.
  •       Ask your spouse to sign. A Waiver of Service form proves that your spouse is aware you're annulling the marriage and will not fight you.
  •       Fill out the final documents. Fill out the Decree of Annulment with your spouse. You both must sign it.
  •       Go to court. Ask the court when your annulment hearing is scheduled. Go to court on that day with your spouse.
  •       Turn in papers. The judge will sign your documents at the hearing. Bring those signed documents to the clerk and file them.

When can you apply for a Texas annulment?

No formal time limit exists for a Texas annulment. But typically, you should apply as soon as you have grounds.

Most annulment grounds involve some kind of fraud. As soon as you know about these issues, you must disclose them. Otherwise, you may seem part of the deception, and getting an annulment could be harder.

What paperwork is required for a Texas annulment?

Just one four-page form is required to start an annulment in Texas. You must bring documents that prove your residency, such as a driver’s license or utility bill.

You must cite the reasons for your annulment, but you’re not required to attach proof to the form. That discussion will come later during your court case.

If you share children, you’ll need to file SAPCR paperwork and attach an Acknowledgement of Paternity. This form proves to the court that it has jurisdiction over the children you share.

Why would you apply for a Texas annulment?

Your partner should be honest with you before your wedding. If someone has lied to you, pressured you, or otherwise forced you to enter a marriage against your better judgment, you have the right to end the union. An annulment makes that possible.

In some cultures, annulment is preferable to divorce. If you want to get married again, some religious traditions will block that union, as they consider your first marriage valid forever.

How much does it cost?

To file for an annulment, you must pay a filing fee. The amount varies from court to court, but it’s typically measured in hundreds of dollars and not thousands. If your spouse agrees to work with you, you may not have added fees stemming from lawyers and long court cases.

Pros and cons of annulment in Texas

An annulment is a quick and effective way to end a marriage that should never have happened. This process can help you regain your single status and independence after a partner lied to you or forced you into a marriage.

An annulment can require proof. You must demonstrate why your union wasn't valid, and sometimes, that proof can be hard to obtain. Getting it can be painful, and disclosing it in public could be embarrassing.

A divorce allows you to maintain your privacy in that you're not required to offer proof of the breakdown of your marriage. While divorces take longer, they could be right for some people.

Frequently asked questions

These are the questions we often hear about annulment in Texas:

Is an annulment the same as voiding a marriage in Texas?

No. An annulment is a broad process that applies to many types of marriages, including those touched by impotence or fraud. A void marriage comes with tighter restrictions, and it can only be applied to marriages that aren’t legal under Texas laws.

Is an annulment the same as a divorce?

An annulment is not the same as a divorce. An annulment is designed to end marriages that should not have been entered in the first place. A divorce is designed to end a marriage that is no longer working.

Do you have to live in Texas for a specific time to file for annulment?

No. You must meet a residency requirement to file for a divorce, but you’re not required to do the same for an annulment.

Can you get remarried after an annulment or divorce?

Yes. When your annulment or divorce has been completely processed, you can marry again per Texas law.

Suggested: Special Considerations for a Catholic Divorce or Annulment



Annulling a Marriage in Texas. (January 2023).
I Want to Annul or Void My Marriage. (January 2023). 
Court Fees and Fee Waivers. (January 2023).
Filing for Divorce. Texas State Law Library.
Void Marriages in Texas. (January 2023).
Requirements for Ending Void Marriages in Texas. (January 2023).
I Need a Custody Order. I Am the Child’s Parent (SAPCR). (October 2023).
Divorce Specialists
After spending years in toxic and broken family law courts, and seeing that no one wins when “lawyer up,” we knew there was an opportunity to do and be better. We created Hello Divorce to the divorce process easier, affordable, and completely online. Our guiding principles are to make sure both spouses feel heard, supported, and set up for success as they move into their next chapter in life.