Annulment help needed


My marriage in the Catholic church was annulled by the first instance court. My ex husband appealed the decision and so it will be “retried?” in the second instance court. I am not sure what this means. No one explained it. Does it mean I have to start all over again? From the beginning?

Also, can he appeal the second instance court’s decision as well? Will it then go on to the Roman rota? Or can the second court say, no, it cannot go to Rome, it is finished?

I am asking because he is an abuser/narcissist and he will go to any length to control me even though we are divorced. I believe he hopes he can take it all the way to Rome and stall it for years. In that way, he believes he will still own me.

I am very upset because I feel like he is the terminator and won’t leave me alone. I need to have some answers to these questions for my peace of mind.

The first court not only granted the annulment, they said that he cannot get remarried in the church without removal of the impediments the court has put in place.

If you could help me with some answers, I would be grateful.


Annulments usually go through two Tribunals (first and second instance) before the final decree is issued.

At least that’s how it’s done here. All cases are submitted to the National Tribunal after making it through the local Tribunal. While couples are informed of the finding of the first instance they are reminded that they cannot plan a new marriage pending the findings of the second instance tribunal.

As far as I know the court of second instance cannot prevent someone from appealing to the Rota.


Did you have a contact with the tribunal during your annulment process? (I think they’re called an advocate, but I’m not sure) If so, I would ask that person, or call the diocese and ask to speak with someone in the tribunal. They should be able to give better answers than most of us here.


A second-instance tribunal reviewing the decision of the first is normal - but in the US different appeal tribunals handle things a little differently. Speaking to someone working in your diocesan tribunal is the best way to go.

My own experience (that is, from knowing someone in your situation) was that the Judicial Vicar was happy to personally explain the appeals process (and glad to get a heads-up that there might be a personal appeal from the respondent). He or an advocate can also explain what happens IF the respondent decides to appeal to Rome.


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