Annulment HELP

So I am catholic, and my ex husband was not. In fact, his father was a preacher in a Protestant church AND at one point even convinced me I should be baptized as an adult in his church.

Anyhow, when I was in college we got engaged and married. We had our marriage recognized by the church mostly to please my pudo-catholic family. (I was not practicing the Catholic faith at the time) anyhow, fast forward two years and I had become resentful that my husband was so Gung-ho Pentecostal and making me convert. (I never flat out told him this, just turned into an every-Sunday fight)

A HUGE issue is that there were no plans for children… The one time we discussed it I mentioned wanting a Baptism in the Catholic church and that was shot down in a brush off way. So children were never really brought up.

Two years into our marriage, I had an affair with another Catholic man, and long story short, I asked for a divorce.

Now two years after that I am dating a wonderful Catholic man and can’t wait to marry and have babies! I am truly sorrowful for all of my choices up to this point and know this man is meant to be my husband.

Can I possibly be granted an annulment? How long is the process? What would my grounds for an annulment be? What if my ex is angry and denies what I claim?

Please help… I’m so tired of feeling like I’ve ruined my chance for a faithful happy Catholic marriage and that I am doomed because I took another man from his wife as well. I am sorrowful for everything and want a clean slate in the church.

These things are complicated and yes, you may have a case but you will need to speak to your priest. If you would like to come to our group to receive support then click the link in my signature box below and we can probably help without this becoming a large forum debate that this is likely to turn into. God bless and I hope that this is a healing process for you.

It may be possible, no one here can really say. Heed the advice given by Joan above.

How long is the process?

It varies…and depends on a number of factors…but you will need patience…

What would my grounds for an annulment be?

Can’t say. You will need to discuss this with someone in the Diocese knowledgeable in these matters. Each case is unique.

What if my ex is angry and denies what I claim?

  1. You do not make “claims” - you provide truthful testimony. In my case this involved filling out a questionnaire of over 40 essay questions…You will be asked to provide the names of witnesses who have known you throughout your courtship/marriage. In my case they wanted at least three.
  2. Your ex will be given the opportunity to participate in this same way filling out the same questionnaire and provide the names of witnesses who may also give testimony vie questionnaire. However the spouse may choose not to participate, and my understanding is that they often do just that.
  3. All of these questionnaires will be reviewed by the Tribunal - if there are discrepancies the tribunal seeks clarification…
  4. Tribunals are very good at sorting out “fact from fiction”. The multiple sources of testimony makes it quite difficult for one person to deliberately subvert the system…So apply, follow the guidance of your advocate…provide truthful testimony and then leave it in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

Please help… I’m so tired of feeling like I’ve ruined my chance for a faithful happy Catholic marriage and that I am doomed because I took another man from his wife as well. I am sorrowful for everything and want a clean slate in the church.

Having gone through something similar I can testify that it is wonderful to come back to the sacraments. But be prepared…the “Clean Slate” you hope to have before God in his Church will not erase your memories or the guilt you feel. These are hard lessons and ones that I hope you will be able to draw good from as you move forward…


I can suggest that you make an appointment with your priest and lay out all the facts. Seconly I can suggest you get a copy of the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster to help you understand what a decree of nullity is and isn’t.

You are so fortunate to have the advice of these people on CAF, heed their recommendations. Praying for you.

Since you are bringing up resources, I suggest two more:

  1. Dr. Ed Peters, a Canon Lawyer who teaches at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, wrote a good book years ago about annulments. You can also go to his website, which is:

  1. Jimmy Akin from Catholic Answers also wrote an informative, concise booklet (about 30 pages) on annulments. I suggest finding that through the Catholic Answers website.

Yes, you do need to go talk to your priest. You also may want to contact the marriage tribunal for your diocese and get some more information.

I won’t make any promises (I’m not a JCL), but I will suggest that the sooner the process begins, the better. I say this because I was a witness in an annulment case, and I had to fill out several essays too. It was time consuming, and took a great deal of effort, but the annulment was granted.

Colorado Bree, I say this because it’s just if you wait many years before filing, there’s a good chance that witnesses may be deceased or will not be able to remember pertinent information that would help in the annulment process.

Hope that helps.

Thank you ALL for your advice, support, and prayers. I honestly didnt expect such optimism! I dont know anyone personally who has gone through the process and your words are very encouraging. I will let you guys know how everything goes.

PLEASE keep me in your prayers through all of this…

You are welcome.

Trust in God - Pray that he lead you - and then move forward on confidence and humility, ready to accept whatever the decision turns out to be.


Excellent advice.:thumbsup:

Openness to having Children is a pre-requisite to a sacramental marriage.
If your First husband entered the attempted marriage with the intention of never having children then there may be grounds for anullment, but you will need to demonstrate this fact to the tribunal.

You would have also needed to obtain agreement that the children should be raised Catholic for yor dispensation to marry a non catholic. if this agreement was never truthful again the respective dispensation may have been compromised.

As others have stated you need to speak to specialists on this topic.
My contribution is intended to give you hope, not to be a statement of cannon law.

Heed the advice of the other posters who tell you to see a priest. We cannot tell you if you have grounds for an annulment or not.

Just remember that any grounds for annulment relate to what happened prior to a marriage taking place. Whatever happens after a marriage has taken place are not grounds for annulment.


I went through an annulment and it wasn’t easy. My ex-husband fought it all the way (he is an evangelical). I was forced to really look at why my marriage failed but that prepared me for my current marriage.

I met and fell in love with a non-baptized man. Got a civil marriage and then, after receiving a dispensation from my bishop, had my marriage blessed in the Church. My husband watched me live my faith and raise our children Catholic (one of them from my first marriage). Every Mass I prayed for him to come into the Church. God heard my prayers and on last Divine Mercy Sunday, my husband was baptized, confirmed and received first Eucharist.

I tell you this to encourage you to have faith, continue to lay this out to God in prayer. He will bring all things about perfectly. We cannot fathom how much God loves us.


Sorry to ask but its not clear if you are saying you did or did not get an annulment.

Yes, I did get an annulment, after which our marriage was blessed in the Church. We have a valid sacramental marriage and just celebrated out 23rd wedding anniversary.

I pray you will have at least another 23 years together. God bless you.

Thank you so much! We are looking forward to renewing our vows at our 25 and 50 year anniversaries!


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