How to Get an Annulment of Marriage in the Catholic Church

••• Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Divorce takes a financial and emotional toll on both participants. If you are Catholic, the church does not recognize divorce, but does allow for annulment of marriage under specific circumstances. People who have their marriages annulled reinstate their unmarried status and become eligible again for marriage within the church. You can ask any priest in the diocese where you live for information about annulling your marriage, even if you are not a member of that specific church.

Finalize your civil divorce before beginning the annulment process. Once your divorce is finalized, get an annulment form from the parish where you live. You do not have to be a member of this church to get the application.

Fill out the application. Answer each question to the best of your ability. The American Catholic online newsletter recommends asking yourself as you answer each question whether you felt there was something wrong about your marriage from its beginning. If you had doubts or concerns when you got married or soon afterward, share them on the form. The more doubt you had, the more likely it is that the Church will agree to annul your marriage.

Make an appointment with a priest to discuss your marriage and whether it qualifies for annulment. The Catholic religion considers marriages to be permanent unless one or both parties was not mature enough for a permanent commitment, either party was forced into the marriage or the marriage was conducted under false pretenses.

Give the annulment form to the priest along with any other information you may have. Include contact information for your former spouse. The church must attempt to contact your ex-partner to inform him of your desire to annul the marriage and give him a chance to respond.

Attend a hearing at a church tribunal. The panel of church judges will ask you about your marriage and the circumstances of your divorce. If it decides that your marriage was invalid due to immaturity, false pretenses or lack of free choice, it will grant the annulment.

Related Articles