Annulment--avoid contacting abusive ex?


Does the church make any exceptions if the petitioner was in an abusive marriage? The ex-spouse has been dormant and there is a desire to “let sleeping dogs lie.”


Both spouses have the right to participate in nullity proceedings. They do not have to participate, but they are given the opportunity.

It is a common misconception that the spouses have to have contact with one another. This is not so.

As the petitioner, you are responsible for giving them what information you have on your ex’s whereabouts. ** You do not have to have any contact with the ex. ** Your whereabouts do not have to be disclosed.

They will be able to read the answers to the questions you provide, if they make the effort to do so, and you will have the opportunity to read what they write, if anything.


ALl you are required to do is provide the contact information for your ex spouse. All of the contact is directly between the Tribunal and all of the witnesses [you, your witnesses, your ex ad theirwitnesses] …

I am sure you can see how unjust it would be for the church to investigate the validity of your marriage wthout the input of 50% of that union. And I take you at your word that the person was abusive. :slight_smile: No reason to doubt … However, some indviduals could make that claim untruthfully or exagerate the issue for various reasons - spite etc … You cannot place the marriage and your former spouse on trial in “absentia” … Similarly, they cannot hold up the proceedings by a failure to respond - forever holding your life in limbo …

You should not need to endanger yourself to obtain a decsion on the vaidity of your marriage - which is one reason the church deals with the praties directly. It also prevents intimidation, tampering with the testimony or censoring it in anyway.

If you desire to have your marriage situation investigated - please have faith in the Church, the Tribunal has done this before, they understand all of the complexities. They will know how to proceed.


Pray, be truthful, pray, be patient, r=pray, answer the questions, pray, pray and pray

May God Bless you :signofcross:


I am not sure about this one … all of the paperwork that I recieved state very clearly that all answers were conidential … though one of my Spouse’s sent him a copy of their repsonse … this person stated on the form that they would never say anything about a person that they would not say to their face [in response to the section that spoke about confidntiality] … We are positive that he also sent a copy to the EX … and why not … the issue was to get to the truth -

And that is why they offer the confidntiality … often times people are less then candid about a person or subject when they know the person being discussed will see what they wrote …

Some 30 pus years ago, we could have letters of recommendation on file withthe college placement officce. They could be **Sealed **[you could not look at your letters of recommendation] or Open [you could not look at the letters] and you specified to those from whom you requested the recommendation which it was … The majority of Recruiters would not even read a file that was Open … One year the statistic was 97% of recruiters … And I know why this is …

I am a PE, examinees for licensure have to have professional recommendations … we are required to seal and sign over the envelope flap… to ensur that te recommendation is cinfidential and un - tampered with … [in the past we mailed them directly in - but sometimes examinees did not know if they had the required Number of recomendations or the board to review - sealing the envelopes from the appplicants was the solution.]


Yes, just before the report is sent to the Defender of the Bond, both ex-spouses are invited to come in and read the witness statements. Neither has to go, and most usually don’t, but it is done in case you want to refute or clarify or add something before the report is sent away.

The Tribunal will contact the other spouse; the petitioning spouse doesn’t have to worry about doing that part. If the ex is truly out of the picture, he likely will not respond to the requests to come in for an interview. Most don’t.


Must be diferent in various diocese … this was not done in my diocese for any annullment that I know of …


Thanks for all the responses. I understand that the petitioner does not have to have direct contact with the ex. The concern is that the petitioner is still living in the same house as when they were married, so the ex could still find the petitioner and make trouble if the ex is enraged by the annulment application.


No one will make you talk to or even see your husband, but participating in the proceedings in his right. Imagine, say, someone broke into your garrage and stole your car - no court would put him in jail without hearing his part of the story. Or say, you had a contract with someone who turned out a bad person, no court would limit itself to hearing just your part of the story because the other person weren’t nice. The abusive person will not be allowed to contact you or talk to you but he must be heard. You wouldn’t like any court to make a ruling about your case without hearing you first, either


I was going to say the same thing. I was able to read the responses that MY witnesses had written. Since my ex did not participate, that’s all there was to it. Also, if your spouse is in another diocese, all the paperwork is sent to the diocese in which they reside for viewing. I am assuming that if my ex had participated, I would have been able to read what her witnesses had stated as well.

In my case, I had to provide an address, but that’s it. I don’t know if that’s the norm either, but it wasn’t a big deal.


I’m a PE too…ah, cramming for the big test, that was the life.:stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, that was to make sure that the recommendations arrived untampered with.


At some point it is good to stop living in fear. More than likely in this situation they will either 1) ignore it, thinking that without their participation you won’t be able to get what you want or 2) participate and try to say how it is all your fault, which is really beside the point but is the perfect opportunity for the Tribunal to see their true character.

The Tribunal will not provide them with contact information for you. There is no direct contact between the parties, so it doesn’t tend to be something that escalates.


It is best to discuss this situation directly with the priest who will be assisting you and the tribunal.

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