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The end of a marriage and declaring it void in Texas

While the end of a marriage in Texas is generally thought of as culminating in a divorce, there are times when it is possible to void the marriage completely. Those who meet the criteria under the law are able to have a marriage voided or will it will be done automatically. The following are justifiable reasons under state law to void a marriage: consanguinity, already being married, marriage to a minor, and marriage to a stepchild or stepparent.

Consanguinity might be a term that some are not familiar with, but it simply means that the marriage will be voided if the people are related to one another. A marriage under this tenet will be voided if the couple is an ancestor or descendant through blood or via adoption; are brother and sister or half-brother or sister or via adoption; are a parent's brother or sister or parent's half-brother or sister or via adoption; or are the son or daughter of a brother or sister, a half-brother or sister or via adoption.

Marriage conducted while one of the participants is married to another person will be void unless the prior marriage was dissolved or ended with the other spouse's death. A marriage that would have been voided under the consanguinity clause will not be voided if it was completed prior to January 1, 1970 and if the couple continued to live together as husband and wife, representing themselves as such. Marriage to a minor under the age of 16 will be voided unless there is a court order allowing it. Being married to current or former stepchild or stepparent can also lead to the marriage being voided.

Certain issues regarding the state law are still in flux when it comes to same-sex marriage and civil unions as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled these marriages to be legal in spite of Texas law saying that it is grounds for dissolution. Those who are concerned about divorce legal issues and are in dispute as to the legality of a marriage need to have a grasp on current law. Speaking to an attorney experienced in divorce issues when it comes to a possible cause for dissolution is the wise decision for those who need guidance and assistance.

Source: statutes.legis.state.tx.us, "Subchapter C. Declaring A Marriage Void," accessed on April 27, 2016

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