Annulment - Formal Hearing


Hi… i am new…
i finally got my date for my Formal Hearing with the Tribunal re: my annulment. How long does it take after the formal hearing to get a “decision” ?
or is it done that day?



I'm submitting my papers on Monday, so I'd like to know to! :)


It depends on each tribunal. If you call them up they can give you a rough estimate.




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Here is an article on the situation...Annulments in America

Another excellent resource...much...more "nuts and bolts" and is specifically focused on Marriage and Annulments

*Catholic Church Annulment

This site is run by a Priest (who is a canon lawyer and tribunal judge --serving since since 2002...and most importantly has served in a pastoral role to help people through the spiritual and emotional processes of divorce/annulment ) and a Sister (who is a canon lawyer and served on the tribunal for Diocese of Buffalo -- 1989-2006)

Two pieces for your info:

Catholic Church Annulment - A Reality Check2. How long did it take you to receive the decision in your annulment?

Often times, applicants are told at the beginning of the process what to expect in terms of time-line. However, many tribunals give very vague answers to questions regarding time-line because each case is so different and so many circumstances can alter the outcome of any case. Some cases can be completed within a matter of 8-10 months. Other cases can take as long as 1 1/2 years. No one is guaranteed an annulment at the conclusion of the process. There are quite a few time-lines that need to be followed within the actual stages of the annulment investigation. (annulment process time-line). TIME-LINE

1. Introduction stage - During this stage the tribunal officials determine the nature of the case, competence and whether the case has merit. This can take approximately two to three months.

2. Collection of testimonies - Petitioner, respondent and witnesses are all contacted. Sometimes expert witnesses may be contacted. This stage can also take between two - four months.

3. Publication of the Acts - If neither of the parties have anything else to add, or their time to do so has expired, then the collection of proofs is considered concluded. The petitioner, respondent, and their advocates, at this time, are permitted, if they so wish, to inspect at the tribunal offices the acts of the case. If either party wishes to propose new proofs they may do so at this time. Also, the advocates, and the defender of the bond present legal arguments to the judge. Traditionally, these arguments are in the form of written legal briefs. This stage can take from one to three months.

4. The Decision of the Judge (s) - The judge then renders a decision by means of a judicial sentence. The sentence consists of the basic facts of the case, the law and jurisprudence upon which the case is decided, and the argument, which argues the facts of the case in light of the law. Once the sentence is issued by the judge the "publication of the sentence" occurs. This stage can take approximately one month.

5. The appeal process. All affirmative judgments in the Court of First Instance are forwarded or appealed to the next tribunal level, the Court of Second Instance. This stage can take anywhere between two-six months.

If the sentence of the First Instance Court is confirmed by the Judges of the Second Instance court, then the decision is usually final. **(for more thorough explanation of process see *Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Foster*

Pax Christi


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