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Family legal issues and voiding a marriage in Texas

In Texas, there are certain circumstances under which a marriage that was entered into was not done so legally and it is therefore void. This is an aspect of family law in the state that must be understood, especially if there is a dispute as to a marriage's validity. Those who are involved in a marriage that might be subject to being disallowed under this law should make sure that they are aware of how this is dealt with.

A marriage can be void under consanguinity. What this means is that there is a close relationship between the parties through blood or ancestry and it is therefore legal for the state to void the marriage. The marriage can be void if there is a relationship between the couple in the following circumstances: if the couple are ancestors or descendants by blood or adoption; if they are brother and sister either whole, half or through adoption; if the marriage is to a parent's brother or sister either by whole or half blood or through adoption; or if the marriage is to a son or daughter of a brother or sister either whole or half blood or through adoption.

The marriage can also be void if it was entered into while either of the spouses was married to another and that previous marriage had not been dissolved through a legal action or ended due to the other spouse's death. Under this law, the latest marriage will be validated once the previous marriage has been dissolved as long as the latter couple cohabited and presented themselves as husband and wife. Couples who entered into a marriage prior to January 1, 1970 will have the union validated as a legal marriage if it continued after January 1, 1970 and the couple lived together and represented themselves as a married couple.

A couple that believed they were married finding out that there are family legal issues that are preventing the marriage from being valid can cause serious problems personally and financially. If there is a possibility that state law can void a marriage, a Texas divorce attorney will be familiar with all the various laws as to when a marriage is legal or when it is void. Speaking to a legal professional with experience in state law can help to resolve the issue.

Source: statutes.legis.state.tx.us, "Subchapter C. Declaring A Marriage Void," accessed on Dec. 8, 2015

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