Three Suits to Dissolve Marriage without Children – So you got married but things did not quite work out the way either of you had hoped and now your heart – and mind – are set on getting a divorce. There is nothing easy about the process of ending a marriage, both emotionally and when dealing with the court system. And when children are involved, it can get messier.
Thankfully, not all relationships that are potentially meeting their end involve children. Many times it is a simple case of two people who want to go their separate ways.
If that is the case, there are three suits to dissolve a marriage without children. I will explain them below.
Suit to Divorce
This is the most common action filed to dissolve a marriage. It is brought when a spouse decides to end a marriage, whether ceremonial or informal, that was entered into without any legal impediments. In Texas, a divorce can occur only by court order – there is no informal or common-law divorce.
To obtain a divorce, spouses must prove to the court there is a valid reason to do so. There are no-fault grounds, such as the inability to support, if the couple is living apart or if one is now confined in a mental hospital. Things like cruelty, adultery, felony convictions, and abandonment are all considered fault grounds for divorce. A divorce based on fault grounds means one spouse was at fault.
Suit for Annulment
In contrast to a suit for divorce, a spouse can petition for an annulment when there has been some legal impediment to the creation of a valid marriage. For example, if a couple decided to get married after a night of drinking and partying in Las Vegas, that could be grounds for having the marriage annulled.
The grounds for an annulment are slightly different, and include impotency, fraud, force, no voluntary cohabitation and mental incapacity. Essentially, a granted annulment means the marriage never happened in the first place. It is voidable.
Suit to declare marriage void
This is similar to an annulment, but the legal impediment in this case cannot be cured or waived by the parties to the marriage – a void marriage has no legal effect at any time and is void at its inception regardless of whether a court declares it so.
There are four grounds for declaring a marriage void:
- the spouses are related to each other.
- one spouse is already married to someone else
- one spouse is under the age of 16
- one spouse is a current or former stepchild or stepparent of the other spouse.
Suits to declare a marriage void are not common, and the issue of whether a marriage is void is brought up in a suit for divorce or in another collateral proceeding.
If you are considering ending your marriage, I urge you to seek counsel from a knowledgeable attorney who will keep your family’s best interests in mind – whether you have children or not. Our staff at Nelson Law Group, PC. is always available. Give us a call today.