Void marriages, annulments, and divorce: What to know

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2023 | Family Law

The wedding bells had barely stopped ringing and your marriage had turned sour. Now, you just want to know how to disentangle your life from your spouse’s as quickly as possible.

Is your marriage somehow void since it was so short? Can you get an annulment? Is divorce the only option?


When a marriage is “voidable,” it can be validated (if the couple is willing) and continue or ended through an annulment. However, you can only get an annulment under specific circumstances, including:

  • One spouse was under 18 years of age at the time of the marriage
  • One or both spouses were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of marriage
  • One spouse is permanently impotent and the other spouse did not know or continue voluntarily living with the impotent spouse after finding out
  • There was fraud, duress or some kind of force used on one or both spouses (such as a literal “shotgun” wedding)
  • One spouse didn’t have the mental capacity, due to some defect or disorder, to consent to the marriage
  • The marriage occurred less than 72 hours after the marriage license was issued (with some exceptions, particularly for military members)

Legally speaking, an annulment means that a marriage never really existed.

Void marriages

Some marriages are considered invalid or “void” from the very start. Under Texas law, a marriage is void when:

  • One party is still legally married to someone else
  • The couple is closely related by blood or adoption

Unlike “voidable” marriages, void marriages cannot be validated, and they never properly existed in the first place.


If none of those situations apply, you will have to file for a divorce to end your marriage – although you may be able to negotiate an uncontested divorce with your spouse and avoid litigation.

If you’ve made a big mistake by marrying the wrong person, find out more about your legal options so that you can make an informed decision concerning how to move forward.