There are four steps to obtaining an annulment in Texas. The procedure is handled by the state court in the county in which the petitioner lives. An annulment, however, is only available to parties that satisfy a specific set of criteria set forth in the Texas Family Code, section 6, subchapter B. Annulment forms are offered by most courts, and many times the petitioner will not need to attend a hearing to obtain the annulment.
File three copies of an annulment petition with the court. A basic petition form is usually offered by the state court, but you can also type a petition. The petition identifies the parties, the date of the marriage sought to be annulled, that the marriage was entered into in Texas, that there were no children born or property acquired during the marriage and the grounds for the annulment. Grounds include that the marriage was entered into while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or that the marriage was entered into less than 72 hours previously. You will need to pay a fee to file the petition.
Obtain an annulment waiver of service signed by your spouse. This form is also offered by the court. In this form your spouse waives his right to receive formal notice of the petition. It must be notarized to be considered valid. At this time you should deliver a copy of the petition to your spouse. Your delivery of petition to your spouse is not considered formal service. Your spouse is still entitled, however, to receive a copy of the petition.
File the waiver of service and an annulment decree with the court. A decree form can usually be obtained at the court and states the grounds for an annulment and that all parties agree to the annulment. The judge will sign the decree and mail each party a certified copy. At this point the marriage has been dissolved.
Serve your spouse. This step is only necessary if your spouse refused to sign a waiver of service. Formal service will be performed by the sheriff and can be arranged at the office of the clerk of court where you filed the petition.
Permit your spouse to file a response. This step is only necessary if your spouse refused to sign an annulment of waiver of service. Most court rules provide a spouse 20 days to file a response.
Schedule a hearing before the court. This step is necessary if your spouse filed a response to your petition or did not sign a waiver or response. Serve your spouse with formal notice of the hearing, which can be arranged at the office of the clerk of court. You and your spouse are entitled to attend and argue at the hearing. If at the end of the hearing the court believes you are entitled to an annulment, it will sign the annulment decree and enter it into the court file.