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Can a Divorce Be Annulled in Texas?

Sophia Merton
February 14, 2023

If you are recently divorced and are having second thoughts about the dissolution of your marriage, you might be wondering: can a divorce be annulled in Texas?

The word annulment typically refers to nullifying a marriage, not a divorce. However, it is possible to ask a judge to reverse a divorce decision if the divorce decree was signed in the last thirty days, but there's no guarantee you'll be successful. There are also methods you can use to suspend or throw out a divorce case if the proceedings have begun, but a judge hasn’t yet signed the final decree.

Can a Divorce Be Annulled in Texas?

The definition of “annul” is to “declare invalid, as in an official decision, agreement, or result.” If you have already been granted a divorce by a Texas court, and you and your ex-spouse have decided that you want to reinstate the marriage, you might be wondering if a divorce can be annulled in the Lone Star State.

couple standing looking at sunset getting back together through divorce annulment in texas
If you and your spouse have decided to reconcile, it might be possible to reverse your divorce in Texas if it was granted in the last thirty days. However, the decision is ultimately up to the judge.

Though the word “annulment” seems to fit this circumstance, an annulment is a legal case that specifically refers to ending a marriage, not reversing the result of a divorce case.

A little later in the article, we will discuss marriage annulment as well as how an annulment is different than a divorce. For now, let’s look into whether it is possible to reverse a divorce in Texas.

Reversing a Divorce in Texas

The final step in the divorce process is a judge signing the divorce decree. If you have already reached this point and a divorce has been granted, there are fewer options available for reinstating the marriage than if you decide to reconcile with your spouse before the finalization of the divorce.

If it has been less than thirty days since the divorce decree was signed, your lawyers can request that the judge reverse the decision. There is no certainty that they will, however. Whether or not your divorce will be reversed is up to the judge’s discretion.

Your lawyers also might be able to file for a modification of the settlement or an appeal, but the court has discretion here as well.

If a judge ultimately chooses not to undo your divorce, you will need to get married again if you and your spouse want to remain wedded.

Can You Dismiss a Divorce Case That Has Already Been Filed?

If you or your spouse have already begun the divorce process, but the dissolution of the marriage hasn’t been finalized, there are different methods you can use to have the case dismissed. How you go about this depends on where you are in the timeline of divorce.

Before the Signing of the Petition

If you have yet to sign the original petition for divorce, you haven’t technically begun the divorce proceedings. This means that you won’t have to do anything to have the case dismissed because it doesn’t technically exist in the eyes of the law.

That being said, you have likely incurred lawyer’s fees if you sought legal guidance during the process. You will be on the hook for any legal fees you owe, but you otherwise don’t have to address any other issues in order to continue on in your marriage.

If you’re thinking about divorce and want to save money, check out this guide on getting divorced without a lawyer in Texas.

Before the Filing of the Petition

If the petition has been signed, but you haven’t filed them with the court, you similarly don’t have to take any action with the court to remain married. That being said, you will have to pay any legal fees you’ve racked up if you’ve consulted with an attorney regarding your divorce.

person signing divorce decree in texas before considering annulment
The divorce process doesn't officially begin until you have filed them with the court. If you change your mind about divorce after signing, but before filing, you won't have to take any legal action to stop the process from moving forward.

If you’re considering divorce but are concerned about the financial aspects of the process, there are a number of cheaper alternatives to hiring legal counsel, including a DIY divorce or seeking help from a legal aid organization.

After the Original Petition Is Filed

It is possible to prevent your divorce from going through if you already filed the original petition, but it is a bit more complicated.

You will need to have your lawyer file a motion that asks to either suspend the proceedings or dismiss the case.

man giving wife piggy back ride after deciding to annul texas divorce
It is a bit more complicated to stop seeking a divorce after you've filed the paperwork, but not impossible. If you and your spouse are considering getting back together and no longer want a divorce, you or your lawyer will need to file a motion to suspend or dismiss the case.

You should only ask that the case be dismissed if you are certain that you and your partner want to remain married. If you change your mind again and want to pursue a divorce, you’ll have to start from scratch, meaning paying new court fees, filing a new petition, and generally beginning again from square one.

If you and your spouse are considering reconciliation but aren’t quite sure yet, asking to have the proceedings suspended is the better choice. When you go this route, it means that the court will bump the case back on its calendar. This gives you more time as a couple to decide if you want to continue pursuing a divorce or if you want to give the marriage a second chance.

You will have paid a filing fee at this point and accrued legal fees if a lawyer represents you. These are still your responsibility if you choose to remain married. If you suspend the case and decide to go through with the divorce, you won’t have to repay the filing and court fees. However, if you stop the proceedings entirely, you will have to pay a new filing fee if you choose to get divorced down the road.

Can a Marriage Be Annulled in Texas?

Under certain circumstances, you can have a marriage annulled in Texas. The decision about whether an annulment can be granted is made by a judge based on factors that existed at the beginning of the marriage.

upset woman deciding whether to reconcile and annul divorce
Both divorce and annulment can be emotionally taxing processes. Annulments do tend to be simpler if you qualify for one, but they also mean there is no avenue for important aspects of divorce like the division of property.

If you can prove the grounds for annulment, the process is pretty straightforward. However, if you bought property together or had a child together, it gets more complicated.

The following are the legal grounds for annulment:

  • One of the spouses was under the age of eighteen when the marriage took place
  • One of the spouses didn’t have the mental capacity to agree to the marriage
  • One of the spouses is permanently impotent
  • One of the spouses was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the marriage took place
  • One of the spouses only got married due to force, fraud, or duress
  • The marriage occurred less than seventy-two hours after the marriage license was received
  • One of the spouses hid a previous divorce from the other spouse

Certain marriages in Texas aren’t considered valid under any circumstances. These include:

  • Marriages in which one spouse is currently married to someone else
  • Marriages between certain relatives

Marriages that can be annulled are defined as “voidable” under Texas law. Annulments are a voluntary way to end this type of marriage. If a marriage isn’t valid in the eyes of the state’s law, a suit to declare a marriage void is the applicable option.

The Difference Between Divorce and Annulment in Texas

The primary difference between a Texas divorce and an annulment is that:

  • A divorce dissolves a legal marriage and returns both individuals to single status
  • An annulment declares that there never was a legal marriage between two individuals

When you get divorced in Texas, a part of the process is the division of property. When you get an annulment, there aren’t any avenues for dividing property because a legal marriage never occurred, and there, therefore, isn’t any marital property to divide.

It’s worth understanding that Texas is a community property state. This means that assets or debts that were acquired since the start of the marriage belong to both parties and are subject to equitable division in the case of a divorce. If you seek an annulment, there isn’t any path you can follow to divide property that was jointly purchased.

Getting divorced can wreak havoc on your life– practically, emotionally, and financially. The more you understand the process and your rights under Texas law, the less stressful and more seamless the experience can be. Check out our Texas Family Law learning center for more useful resources about divorce in the Lone Star State.

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is a researcher and writer that aims to help make the complexities of the legal system understandable to the layperson. Believing that people can be empowered by understanding their rights and responsibilities under the law, Sophia aims to offer accurate and well-researched information in straightforward and easy-to-digest legal articles.

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