Annulment question


#1

A good friend of mine got divorced last year. She is a practicing Catholic and I have tried to convince her on a couple of occasions to try and get the marriage annuled. I have known her for a long time and remember well the circumstances in which she and her husband met and got married. I am far from an expert but think that she has a case and I think she should try. She is reluctant for some reason and thinks that she would not get it, although she is completely ignorant about what annulment is and about the process itself. I would like her to at least go and talk to someone about it.

The reason why I think she should try is that she was extremely immature at the time she got married. It was completely obvious that she had no clue what marriage was, to the point that a priest who knew her well refused to officiate at the ceremony. It also turned out that her husband had an addiction that she was not aware of. It flared up majorly a few years after they got married and in the end destroyed their marriage. These are two main reasons why I think she should try.

This is where I need help from those of you who are more informed on the subject.
Do the above reasons sound valid?
Where would one start with the process? At the current parish, or at the parish where she got married? Or the parish where she got confirmed and where all the paperwork is? Is there normally someone in the archdiocese who should be contacted as well?

I care about my friend very much and would love to help her. She is now a completely different person from the silly girl who made a stupid mistake and still young enough for a second chance at marital happiness. (not that there is an age limit for that, but...) By having as much information about this as is possible at this point would hopefully help her gather courage to talk to someone about it.

TIA


#2

[quote="Contra_Mundum, post:1, topic:314122"]
A good friend of mine got divorced last year. She is a practicing Catholic and I have tried to convince her on a couple of occasions to try and get the marriage annuled. I have known her for a long time and remember well the circumstances in which she and her husband met and got married. I am far from an expert but think that she has a case and I think she should try. She is reluctant for some reason and thinks that she would not get it, although she is completely ignorant about what annulment is and about the process itself. I would like her to at least go and talk to someone about it.

The reason why I think she should try is that she was extremely immature at the time she got married. It was completely obvious that she had no clue what marriage was, to the point that a priest who knew her well refused to officiate at the ceremony. It also turned out that her husband had an addiction that she was not aware of. It flared up majorly a few years after they got married and in the end destroyed their marriage. These are two main reasons why I think she should try.

This is where I need help from those of you who are more informed on the subject.
Do the above reasons sound valid?
Where would one start with the process? At the current parish, or at the parish where she got married? Or the parish where she got confirmed and where all the paperwork is? Is there normally someone in the archdiocese who should be contacted as well?

I care about my friend very much and would love to help her. She is now a completely different person from the silly girl who made a stupid mistake and still young enough for a second chance at marital happiness. (not that there is an age limit for that, but...) By having as much information about this as is possible at this point would hopefully help her gather courage to talk to someone about it.

TIA

[/quote]

I would suggest that when she is ready she should speak with her Parish Priest who can then inform her of the process.


#3

[quote="Contra_Mundum, post:1, topic:314122"]
A good friend of mine got divorced last year. She is a practicing Catholic and I have tried to convince her on a couple of occasions to try and get the marriage annuled. I have known her for a long time and remember well the circumstances in which she and her husband met and got married. I am far from an expert but think that she has a case and I think she should try. She is reluctant for some reason and thinks that she would not get it, although she is completely ignorant about what annulment is and about the process itself. I would like her to at least go and talk to someone about it.

The reason why I think she should try is that she was extremely immature at the time she got married. It was completely obvious that she had no clue what marriage was, to the point that a priest who knew her well refused to officiate at the ceremony. It also turned out that her husband had an addiction that she was not aware of. It flared up majorly a few years after they got married and in the end destroyed their marriage. These are two main reasons why I think she should try.

This is where I need help from those of you who are more informed on the subject.
Do the above reasons sound valid?
Where would one start with the process? At the current parish, or at the parish where she got married? Or the parish where she got confirmed and where all the paperwork is? Is there normally someone in the archdiocese who should be contacted as well?

I care about my friend very much and would love to help her. She is now a completely different person from the silly girl who made a stupid mistake and still young enough for a second chance at marital happiness. (not that there is an age limit for that, but...) By having as much information about this as is possible at this point would hopefully help her gather courage to talk to someone about it.

TIA

[/quote]

The grounds have to be public and provable, such as through witnesses and psychological evaluations.

Lack of Sufficient Use of Reason (Canon 1095, 1)

Conditions such as severe mental retardation, mental illness, or a very immature personality, reason being impaired by abuse of drugs or alcohol.

archdiocesesantafe.org/Offices/Tribunal/ExplanationGr.html

archny.org/pastoral/faq---annulments/#5a.Preliminary_Stage


#4

Thank you for the links.


#5

You are right, she might not be ready yet. She went through a horrible thing with her husband. From the conversations we have had about her marriage and divorce I could tell she was keen to learn more about getting an annulment, but was also scared at the same time: had all these reasons why it wouldn’t happen for her, although she knew nothing about the process. That is why I would like to at least direct her somewhere with a bit of information when the topic comes up again. She mentioned it recently so that makes me wonder if she is slowly warming up to the idea.

Thank you for the input.


#6

You might also mention to her that the annulment process isn’t always about whether or not you “get” the annulment in the end. (Yes, I know the phrase is incorrect, albeit very commonly expressed.) I found the entire process very healing; when it concluded I was a lot more whole than when I entered. I also then knew where I stood with the Church so that, in the future, if I were to want to move into another relationship, I knew I was (or was not) a single woman who could do so without compromising my beliefs.


#7

I suggest you buy her a copy of Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster.

She would start with her parish priest.

A decree of nullity may be initiated in the following jurisdictions:

Can.* 1673 In cases concerning the nullity of marriage which are not reserved to the Apostolic See, the following are competent:

1/ the tribunal of the place in which the marriage was celebrated;

2/ the tribunal of the place in which the respondent has a domicile or quasi-domicile;

3/ the tribunal of the place in which the petitioner has a domicile, provided that both parties live in the territory of the same conference of bishops and the judicial vicar of the domicile of the respondent gives consent after he has heard the respondent;

4/ the tribunal of the place in which in fact most of the proofs must be collected, provided that consent is given by the judicial vicar of the domicile of the respondent, who is first to ask if the respondent has any exception to make.


#8

She was only divorced last year, so she is probably still in a great deal of pain over this. You’ve made her aware of your thoughts on this, so I think you should drop the subject for now. There’s no point in pushing her if she’s not ready to consider this yet.


#9

[quote="IrishAm, post:6, topic:314122"]

I found the entire process very healing; when it concluded I was a lot more whole than when I entered. I also then knew where I stood with the Church so that, in the future, if I were to want to move into another relationship, I knew I was (or was not) a single woman who could do so without compromising my beliefs.

[/quote]

I'm happy the process helped you. I hope she will experience the same, either through annulment or otherwise.

[quote="1ke, post:7, topic:314122"]
I suggest you buy her a copy of Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster.

She would start with her parish priest.

[/quote]

Thanks very much. I knew you'd have good advice.

[quote="agnes_therese, post:8, topic:314122"]
She was only divorced last year, so she is probably still in a great deal of pain over this. You've made her aware of your thoughts on this, so I think you should drop the subject for now. There's no point in pushing her if she's not ready to consider this yet.

[/quote]

I completely understand that. Unfortunately, she is also getting very bad advice from well meaning people. I think that in the situations when the topic of divorce was brought up by her I was right to mention the possibility of annulment. Much better than suggesting she should have a bit of fun and get a boyfriend to get over the divorce. I'm just worried.


#10

It is best to apply for a Decree of Nullity as soon as possible.

  1. It defines ones status, i.e. whether one can consider dating etc later, before emotions are involved.

  2. It gets statements from witnesses as soon as possible, while the witnesses are available and before memories fade.


#11

[quote="Joe_Kelley, post:10, topic:314122"]
It is best to apply for a Decree of Nullity as soon as possible.

  1. It defines ones status, i.e. whether one can consider dating etc later, before emotions are involved.

  2. It gets statements from witnesses as soon as possible, while the witnesses are available and before memories fade.

[/quote]

Yes, this is what I'm thinking as well. Thank you.


#12

Maybe start with the priest who refused to officiate her marriage first, whatever reasons for his objection might be a good indication if there is good reason for annulment.


#13

Maybe start with the priest who refused to officiate her marriage first, whatever reasons for his objection might be a good indication if there is good reason for annulment.


#14

While it can be a healing process if she is closed to it then I think it can do more harm the good to keep bringing it up. I would let her bring it up to you when she is ready.


#15

Can you call your diocese to inquire if there is a "Beginning Experience" ministry for widowed, divorced & separated Catholics? If there is, please inform your friend and encourage her to take advantage!
beginningexperience.org/php5/index.html


#16

This is a new post/question about Annulment. I apologize if it looks like a reply to previous questions. Don’t know how else to post a new message.
My question about annulment is when is it appropriate to seek annulment?


#17

[quote="Jeanne_Marino, post:16, topic:314122"]
This is a new post/question about Annulment. I apologize if it looks like a reply to previous questions. Don't know how else to post a new message.
My question about annulment is when is it appropriate to seek annulment?

[/quote]

This is just my opinion. I don't have the references to support it at hand.

  1. The relationship must be broken, without a realistic hope for reconciliation.

  2. One should have some reasonable cause to believe that the original commitment was invalid. Since one is not usually an expert on Canon Law, this probably requires a complete review of the the status and intent of the parties with an expert in this area. The diocesan tribunal can probably provide a reference. Note that only factors present at the time of the marriage are pertinent; though sometimes subsequent actions can be used to prove intent at the time of the ceremony.

  3. As I posted on February 8, it is best to do this as soon as possible after the divorce.


#18

Your lady friend should work with a priest advocate and complete the documents to her jurisdiction. Why a priest? Because a priest has authority to administer all of the sacraments and would understand the grave importance required by both parties in marriage, especially spousal consent which is irrevocable.

There are multiple issues here that call into question whether the other person was capable of giving consent, and if addiction (hidden) was involved? She was likely deceived.

There is a sub-forum group - perhaps your lady friend could set an id up on forums.catholic.com and write about her experience.

Annulments are not Catholic divorce. Annulment is a decision that says a marriage is valid or there was no "marriage".


#19

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