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Dallas Annulment Attorney

Key Takeaways:

  • An annulment declares a marriage void in the first place, while a divorce ends a marriage that was considered valid.
  • There is generally no limit to how long you can wait to get an annulment, but there are some exceptions.
  • A religious annulment does not qualify as a legal annulment and is not recognized legally.
  • The most common reason for an annulment is a marriage ceremony occurring under fraud.

We once had a case where we got the marriage annulled on the grounds of fraud, which showed that the husband induced our client into marriage for immigration purposes and never intended for there to be a marriage. He left her shortly after obtaining his green card.

No matter what your situation is or how heartbreaking it may feel, you need litigation that is ready to fight for you, and the Law Offices of Chris Schmiedeke are ready to do just that.

If you are ready to take the next step in ending your marriage either through annulment or divorce, contact the passionate legal team at the Law Offices of Chris Schmiedeke at 214-643-8904 for guidance on your Texas family law matters.

What is the Difference Between an Annulment and Divorce Under Texas Annulment Laws?

An annulment is very different from a divorce under Texas law, though they both have the same outcome — they dissolve a marriage, but there are some key differences.


  • Seeks to declare the marriage void
  • Legally treats the marriage as if it never happened to begin with


  • Seeks to declare the marriage over
  • Ends a marriage that is considered valid

Do Both Spouses Need to Agree on an Annulment?

If one spouse wants to seek a Texas annulment but the other is not in agreement, it is not a requirement for both spouses to sign off on an annulment to declare the marriage void.

However, it is not as simple as asking for one either. In an annulment situation where a spouse agrees, you will still need to provide reasons why your marriage is void or voidable and convince a presiding judge in a court of law why those reasons are valid.

Annulments can also be contested. In other words, your spouse (the respondent) can dispute your request for an annulment, which can create a sticky legal scenario. An experienced Texas annulment lawyer can help you through this or another type of situation that impacts your ability to file for a successful annulment.

Is It Hard to Get an Annulment in Dallas?

Woman looking at her wedding ring

Annulment in Texas is not an automatic process nor is it necessarily easy to do. Even if you wish the marriage never occurred, you cannot simply ask for it to go away. You may or may not be eligible depending upon the circumstances that led to the marriage, events during the marriage, and whether or not your marriage fits the legal criteria to be granted an annulment. The difficulty of getting an annulment in Dallas will directly depend upon your specific circumstances.

What Qualifies You for an Annulment Under the Texas Family Code?

The state of Texas allows for a number of grounds for annulment. The reasons are as follows, according to Texas’ Family Code.


In Texas, it is illegal for close relatives (also referred to as “consanguinity”) to marry.

  • Automatic grounds for annulment.
  • Includes non-blood relatives like a stepparent or stepchild (either current or former).


If, at the time of the marriage, one of the parties entered the union when they were already married to another party, this is bigamy.

  • To get married in Texas, one has to be not married or fully divorced.
  • A divorce in progress that has not been finalized does not qualify.

Underage Marriage

When one party of a marriage was under the age of 14 during the issuance of their marriage license, this automatically makes the union void.

  • A person must be 18 years of age to wed without parental consent.
  • A person ages 15-17 years old must either have parental consent or be an emancipated minor.
  • A person involved in an underage marriage can file for an annulment, but so can a person’s parent, legal guardian, or next friend until the person involved is 18.

Under the Influence of Narcotics or Alcohol

An annulment may be granted if the petitioner is determined to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time they were married.

  • The court automatically views a marriage vow taken under the influence to be without consent.

Concealed a Prior Divorce Within 30 Days of the Marriage

If one party concealed that they divorced someone else within 30 days of their next marriage, the petitioner can use this as a basis to file for an annulment.

  • This justification for an annulment can only be used until the marriage’s first anniversary.
  • After the first anniversary, an annulment can still be pursued but not on the grounds of a concealed divorce.

Duress, Fraud, or Force

In the event that a person entered a marriage through duress or force, they can petition for an annulment.

  • Duress or force refers to any instance in which one spouse did not feel safe enough to refuse.
  • Fraud can include instances in which a spouse lied or hid important information.

Mental Incompetency

When one of the people in the marriage suffers from mental incompetency and participated in a marriage ceremony without fully understanding what was happening, that can serve as grounds for an annulment.

  • The court considers this to be a marriage vow that was not taken with consent.


A person can use impotency as grounds for annulment if either spouse was impotent at the time they wed.

  • The annulment petitioner must not have known about the impotency at the time of the marriage.
  • The petitioner must not have voluntarily cohabitated with the other party since learning of the impotency.

What is the Process to Get an Annulment in Dallas?

Most people in Dallas find it more efficient to hire an attorney who is experienced with successfully navigating Texas annulments. However, if you choose to forego pursuing legal advice with an attorney about your annulment, you will have to do the paperwork yourself, which can be complex. To start, you will need to:

  • File with the district court for your jurisdiction (this will be the same as divorce court)
  • Check your residency to see if you are eligible (this is not the same as divorce requirements). To be able to file for an annulment, either:
    • One of the spouses must live in Texas OR
    • The spouses were married in Texas
  • Determine your eligibility to file — you or the other party must have lived in Texas for at least six months and in the county where you file for a minimum of 90 days.

Either a judge or a jury will be deciding your trial when you seek to receive an annulment in Texas. If you have an attorney by your side, you increase your chances for success because they will know exactly what to file and how to structure your grounds.

What Happens to Your Property After an Annulment?

Under the Texas Family Code Section 7.002, it is permittable for Texas courts to distribute any marital property in an annulment in any matter they deem just and right. When determining property division, the court will take into account the rights of each party, the income of both parties, and any children born in the marriage.

Division of community property may or may not work in your favor — it is best to have your proverbial legal ducks in a row before your case goes in front of a judge or jury. Seeking the advice of a Dallas family law attorney who is well-versed in Texas annulment law can help to get you a potentially more favorable court order outcome.

What Happens to Children in a Marriage Annulment in Texas?

In Texas, if any children are either born to or adopted by the spouses, this does not delegitimize them in the event of an annulment. However, there will need to be the inclusion of a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) which is a child custody suit, along with the annulment request. Connecting the annulment case with the SAPCR allows the court to establish custody, visitation, child support, health insurance, and other relevant decisions typically decided in family law matters.

Why Should I Hire a Dallas Family Law Attorney for an Annulment?

Divorce lawyer speaking to a husband and wife

If you are going to pursue the annulment process, understand it can be quite complex. To succeed, everything has to be in proper order. An attorney will assemble the proper evidence needed when you make your court appearance. Your attorney will also make sure you are being treated fairly during the court process and can help increase the chances that the annulment request will not be denied.

Why Clients Partner With the Law Offices of Chris Schmiedeke, P.C.

When you partner with Chris Schmiedeke, P.C., you enjoy a communicative relationship with custom solutions designed to work with your unique circumstances. Take a look at what some of our previous clients have had to say about our services.


In my divorce, I didn’t want to take any advantage, and I didn’t want to be taken advantage of. I only wanted what was fair. Amanda helped me understand the law and what my options were. Allen gave me a very fine representation in mediation. These guys were great! I wanted fair and received fair, and I am happy with my results! Thank you, Law Office of Chris Schmiedeke!” — Cory S.

“By far the best experience I’ve had when it comes to legal matters. No one wants the need to hire a lawyer, but this team has made this difficult ordeal into a simple case. Chris makes sure everything runs justified. Amanda goes above and beyond, making sure I’m being fought for, even reaching out while on vacation when it comes to important matters, and Shelly is such a sweetheart, always making sure everything is running smoothly and making sure I am okay. They truly cared and fought for me; this team is such a blessing. Thank you.” — Yesi R.

More Questions to Consider About Annulment in Dallas Texas

How Long Do I Have to Annul My Marriage in Texas?

How long you have to annul your marriage in Texas depends on the reason you are getting it annulled, though most cases do not have a time limit as long as both people involved in the marriage are still alive. Still, it is important to understand the exceptions in the Texas Family Code.

  • If the annulment is based on one spouse hiding the fact that they were divorced in the past, you have until the one-year anniversary of the marriage to get an annulment.
  • If the annulment is based on one spouse being underage, you have until that spouse turns 18 to annul the marriage.
  • If the annulment is based on the waiting period being violated, you have 30 days from the marriage to get an annulment.

Is It Easier or Faster to Get an Annulment Than a Divorce in Texas?

It is typically faster to get an annulment than a divorce in Texas if you have qualifying grounds, but it is not easier. For an annulment, you will have to get a judge to declare that the marriage was never valid to begin with, and this requires appearing before a judge and making a case for it.

Can an Annulment Affect My Immigration Status?

An annulment can affect your immigration status in some circumstances. If you were in the process of naturalizing as the spouse of a U.S. citizen, you would no longer be able to do so unless the naturalization application had already been filed. Even so, your unique circumstances could compromise your chance to get a permanent residency card.

It is best to speak with an attorney to see how an annulment would impact your unique situation. Still, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services generally understands that relationships sometimes do not work out and are not always fraudulent. Put simply, how your annulment will affect your immigration status depends on which part of the immigration process you are in.

What is Religious Annulment?

A religious annulment is distinct from a legal annulment in that a religious annulment allows for a member of a particular religion to remarry within their religious institution. Within religions that do not recognize divorce, a religious annulment is the only way for members to remarry. Religious annulments do not void marriages in terms of legal status. A religious annulment is solely a matter between members of a religion and their church leadership.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an Annulment in Dallas, Texas?

The cost of an annulment in Texas can vary quite a bit based on the circumstances of the marriage and whether or not it is contested. An annulment on the lower side of the range can cost a few thousand dollars, but others can cost up to $20,000. The cost largely depends on how many assets are involved in property division and whether or not it is contested. In many cases, one party in the marriage asserts that there was a problem with the marriage, while the respondent argues that the marriage was legitimate.

In terms of simple processing, you must pay a filing fee to get an annulment, which is about $350, depending on which district court you file in. The rest of the cost comes from court fees and divorce lawyer fees, which add up quickly if the annulment is contested. An annulment in which alimony, child custody, or child support are involved will also be more expensive.

Hire a Dallas Annulment Attorney

Navigating an annulment tends to be more complicated than a divorce, so you will need an annulment attorney by your side. At the Law Firm of Chris Schmiedeke, P.C., we understand how difficult an annulment can be. That is why we strive to make it as easy for you as possible. Get started with your marriage annulment case today with a Dallas family law attorney by calling us at 214-989-7375 or filling out our online contact form.

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