Annulment of my first marriage


My fiance recently proposed, and we have begun taking the steps to prepare for the big day. I contacted our parish and have been exchanging emails with our priest about our intentions to marry. This would be my second marriage, and I spoke with him in regards to the steps I need to take to have my first marriage annulled by the church. Due to the circumstances, he said a defect of form would be the best route, as my ex is not Catholic and our marriage was performed by a local justice of the peace. My question is, how much does a defect of form cost? Right now, our budget is TIGHT due to my fiance going to school full time. We are all in agreement that it is best to get the ball rolling on this process as soon as possible, but I would like to know what I am getting into when we go in to meet with our priest next weekend.


If you, as a Catholic, married your first husband outside the Church and never had that marriage validated by a priest, that marriage was invalid due to a lack of proper form. A defect (or lack) of form is the simplest and least expensive type of annulment. In my diocese the fee is $25, though that varies with each diocese. However, most dioceses will gladly make arrangements for you to make payments if the cost is more.


When I had mine (15 years ago), it was about $25 and took about 2 weeks. Check with your parish or diocese for the actual cost. It shouldn't be much. Even even the minimal cost is too much, be sure to ask about financial assistance.


We cannot answer your question. You will have to ask your pastor or the diocese what the adminstrative fees are, as those are a local matter. If money is an issue, you can discuss a sliding scale fee.


it’s inappropriate and a scandal to be dating while one is still married ,let alone engaged. and i am surprised your Pastor didn’t discuss this with you.


Umm… what gave you the impression that the OP is still married? :hmmm:

It doesn’t seem too far-fetched an assumption that the OP is divorced; moreover, since the OP (a Catholic) was married by a JP, then that wasn’t a sacramental marriage…


[quote="april32010, post:5, topic:337179"]
it's inappropriate and a scandal to be dating while one is still married ,let alone engaged. and i am surprised your Pastor didn't discuss this with you.


there is no presumption of validity in a lack of form process.


As others have said, the fees are different with each diocese. Ours do annulments for free. Annulments are paid for out of CSA funds, so those of us who seek annulment are asked to donate to the CSA to help defray the cost if we can.

Ask your pastor what the fee is where you live. If you cannot afford the fee right now I have heard it is possible to make payment arrangements or have the annulment done for a reduced fee.

Good luck!


But the Church hasn’t been given the information yet to make a ruling on that. It’s not our decision, all we can say is “probably.”


Your case is lack of form - canonical form didn’t happen.

It’s not defect of form - canonical form was followed but some aspect was defective.

You’ll need to ask your pastor the cost in your diocese.

If you are in financial difficulties they may have arrangements to reduce or completely waive all fees. You will not be denied the process purely on economic grounds.


no, it was a lack of form. It is very cut-and-dry. She is not married and never was married. It is impossible for a Catholic to marry validly outside of the Church without proper dispensation. She just needs to get the paperwork filled out. :shrug:


That’s not for people on an internet message board to determine.

The tribunals in the various diocese operate with the authority granted to the Church by Christ. It is for a tribunal with jurisdiction in the diocese where the OP lives to determine. A statement that the OP was never was married has to come from the legitimate authority within the Church, not from a message board.

Christ always speaks through the legitimate authority of the Church.



Wanderer, thanks for bringing this point as I was about to ask that question. My understanding.g is that catholic has an obligation to get married in the Catholic church. If a catholic gets married in the Court i.e. justice of the peace, has no dispensationfrom.the church or anything, my understanding was that person’s marriage is not valid at all and in the church’s eyes that person is not married. Am I correct?


That has always been my understanding, and especially since 1Ke said the same thing earlier in this thread (1Ke being very well versed in canon law about such things from her other posts on here) I am confident that this is, in fact, correct.


[quote="1ke, post:7, topic:337179"]
there is no presumption of validity in a lack of form process.



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