annulment turned down, what is next step

My spouse’s annulment request was just turned down. A short while ago he was advised indirectly that without the x’s input it had little chance. She refuses to cooperate. When he spoke with the judge he was informed that maturity has no bearing, that ‘everyone is immature’. (I thought this was still considered grounds?) We were give more time and discovered some very important information which was submitted. We had thought this information would at least warrant some psychiatric review but it seems it hasn’t. The whole process has been very secretive from our perspective and we feel that he is not getting the assistance he needs. Where can we go??? The letter he received basically states he has the right to an appeal which will eventually go to a tribunal out of state. He is going to appeal, but it seems like we have no assistance anywhere. He worked with someone to get the paperwork in, but that was it. Is there any possibility that he can start this process again? His case was also heard in the diocese where we live. Can he reapply to the diocese where he was originally married? I believe he is also being punished for his lack of memory. He is 60 years old and it’s well recognized that guys don’t remember everything like women do. It has taken me a great many years to convince him to finally apply (which was last December when we were married 29 years), and many years to come back to his Church. Now he’s so upset I’m sure you can imagine how he feels about it all. If you need a little of our history, you can go back to some of my old posts. I would very much appreciate recommendations; but please refrain from judgement.:(:confused:

Prayers that you can both be open to God’s graces and follow what is His will.

We hurt so bad. Does anyone have an answer?:confused:

I would appeal if I were him since there is nothing to lose. Perhaps see if you can consult a Canon law lawyer to help you out. How long was he married the first time and did they have children together? I have a friend who had to petition twice, but her ex-husband was caught in a web of deceit the second time around, which verified her original testimony.

At the end of the day, your husband has the right to exercise his conscience. If he truly feels there were impediments to the first marriage from the start, then he can live his life based on that. The Tribunals aren’t infallible either.

Sometimes evidence is hard to come by, particularly since spouses are supposed to keep marital problems private. In my case, if my ex hadn’t left a trail of evidence (personal porn, emails, etc.) regarding his secret life, I wouldn’t have been able to prove my case with the Tribunal. Nobody knew what he as up to. Sometimes there is no evidence.

Personally, I think this situation is stupid. You have been together for nearly 30 years. Did you also have children together? I have heard that Rome is cracking down on granting nullity in North America, even to spouses who have been abandoned.

Begin by changing the way you word things, this will help change your thinking.

What happened is that the Tribunal found your husband’s marriage to be valid. When you recieve this, it should have already gone through two different courts.

Sit down and talk to your advocate. You have recourse to one more appeal, that would be an option for you.

If that time the marriage is found to be valid, then, you work with your Pastor to enter into a “brother and sister” living arrangement. Pray and stay close to Jesus.

Thank you both for your replies. I will look into the Canon lawyer aspect hastily, as he has less than two weeks for the appeal to be filed. I can agree with you, Ailina, as I recently attended a retreat given by a Passionist priest. What he said kept me focused on what our lives together have been, and perhaps will be the only thing that will get me through this for the rest of our lives. He said “God is not going to ask you for your paperwork” when you meet with Him. It was almost as if that priest knew I was there. I had given him a big hug when he left, especially since everyone was able to go to confession that week and I hadn’t been in years. I told him thank you for coming to our parish; his reply was “God sent me here just for you”. I appreciate the advice kage_ar, but we could never be brother and sister. God is going to judge our hearts some day. This is pretty much what I ascertained from this priest, and if it is the only acknowledgement of our lives together, then so be it. I would ask if you would look into my old posts for a little of our history so that you will know from where I am coming. I thank you though, for a suggestion re: an advocate. Unfortunately in our diocese there are no advocates. We already asked for one. Please keep us in your prayers.

I will definitely keep you in my prayers.

The only thing - *the only thing *- that kept me sane while I waited for my husband’s annulment was adoration. I would have either become severely depressed or else given up completely and turned bitter if I hadn’t had a perpetual adoration chapel nearby. Some weeks I went to visit the Blessed Sacrament every single morning on my way to work.

Also, I made a pact with myself that I would only think about (and cry over) the annulment while I was in the adoration chapel. That really helped.

Sure, there were some days when I felt like my outward appearance was that of a sane and normal woman while inside I was throwing a major tantrum over the annulment process, screaming and crying and carrying on. But those days were few and far between.

One day I looked at the Blessed Sacrament and said to Jesus: “You know circumstances that I could never know, and you know the hearts of people in this situation. I can’t have the perspective you have. You must have a reason for this, that I simply do not see. I’ll trust that you have your reasons.” That was the closest to feeling of peace and acceptance that I came to during this painful time, but it was enough.

So, please go to adoration, every if it’s only once a week. If you pour your heart out to Jesus, he will listen. Tell him Tina sent you. :wink:

forgetmenot: please know that you are in my prayers…this must be very difficult for you both.

I don’t have any advice on the annulment process, but I offer you and your husband my prayers.

just to share, my sister got an annulment and her ex husband wasn’t involved in the process. in fact, he wasn’t even aware of the process until after it was granted

My prayers are with you - sorry but no advice.

My ex-husband did not bother to participate either and the Nullity was granted.
Start the appeal process and may God’s will be done.

This is a difficult decision and my prayers go out to you.

I’m going to start this by saying that I’m sorry if I sound harsh and admitting that I haven’t read your previous posts, I’m going strictly by what you’ve written here.

First, I want to ask why you would even bother with the annulment process if you had no intention of accepting the outcome that the Tribunal may give you. You must have known that the process could go either way, so I’m wondering if you even considered that the marriage may have been considered valid? What did you plan on doing if that was the case? You told kage_ar that you would never be able to live as brother and sister, in other words you would still do what YOU want to do and to heck with what the Church is telling you. So why bother with the whole thing, you should have been honest with yourself and each other and could have saved yourselves this angst.

It comes down to obedience, I know that you think God will only judge what’s in your hearts and that He will not ask for your paperwork…how do you know? Are you willing to take that chance? Life in this world isn’t always what we would like it to be and it requires sacrifice and trust in the Lord and His Church. That’s what sets us apart, the willingness to be obedient in All things not just what is convenient or feels good. Obedience is NOT easy and it requires complete and utter Faith…in our actions not just our words.

Again, I don’t mean to be harsh and I hope you see your situation from a different prospective and see it as a real opportunity to trust in God and His Church. Everything happens for a reason and you don’t know what He has in store for you. He knows what’s in your heart and if you never had an intention of following what the Church teaches He knows that too. I agree with other posters that you should appeal, but before you do that search your heart and answer honestly whether or not you’re prepared for what the outcome may be and act accordingly. If you’re not then don’t do anything, don’t exhaust the last opportunity and waste your time, energy and feelings. Again, it’s just my :twocents: and seeing things from a different perspective can be helpful. Good luck with everything.

Actually not. One can’t marry when there’s an unresolved previous marriage and when one is not married, sexual intercourse is fornication.

As for “immaturity has no bearing”, the judge likely made a gross simplification, see cannon 1095:

Can. 1095 The following are incapable of contracting marriage:
1/ those who lack the sufficient use of reason;
2/ those who suffer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties mutually to be handed over and accepted;
3/ those who are not able to assume the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychic nature.

Literally, being immature is not a problem per se, but when it’s as serious as paras. 1-3 of cannon 1095, then it’s a problem. Judges aren’t bound by a party’s refusal to cooperate. They can order psychiatric evaluation. They can also make findings despite a party’s refusal to cooperate.

You will need to find a canon lawyer to get it right. And as for that, I’m surprised the diocese did not offer any assistance apart from paperwork. The assistance should be there and dioceses provide it even when they don’t have advocates. Sometimes it’s provided by judges or notaries. And if they only have three judges (what you need for a panel), then the judges during the trial can and should take proper account of the parties’ lack of knowledge of canon law and consequent lack of ability to discern material facts from immaterial ones. They can ask questions and get to the bottom of it. In fact, they need to get to the bottom of it before they can pass a verdict, because they need “moral certainty”. This is not to say that they didn’t, but basing solely on the facts you give, I’m rather surprised.

The Tribunal has a duty to enable a party to defend his rights. I can imagine it not being necessary in cases judged entirely from written documents where things are completely obvious, but even in that case, there should be service of process. Preventing a party from being able to defend his rights may lead to nullity of the nullity ruling.

Hmmm. How was it that her ex husband "...wasn't even aware of the process until after it was granted..."?  It's a mandatory part of the procedure for the Tribunal to initiate contact with him to encourage him to participate.  Did no one have an address on him?  If that was the case, how did he become aware "...after it was granted..."?
Having said that, it is not mandatory that the ex spouse particiates.  My ex chose not to even give the Tribunal the courtesy of a reply to inform them that she would not participate. That did not prevent them from granting my annulment.

Exercising your conscience is indeed part of the Catholic faith:

Every marriage is different, so it is impossible to judge the state of a person’s soul based on the external facts of a case as they appear on the books. There are cases where a person is justified in acting contrary to the law.

If someone wakes up from the nightmare of a disastrous marriage in a state of disorientation, the victim of abuse and hatred, it might take a long time to recover.

As the person begins to heal, he or she may for the first time find a new love. The couple may come to see this new relationship as a gift from God. At the same time they are in conflict because they hear the Church saying that they are living in sin. They try for an annulment but are told they have no case.

Once they work through the conscience issue, they may decide to use the internal forum solution. They may consult with a priest-confessor or counselor for advice. A priest cannot marry them because this would be simulating the sacrament, but he may encourage them to follow their conscience if the facts seem to support them.

Pope John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio has forbidden them to receive the Eucharist if they marry invalidly. Many of them receive anyway, believing that their second marriage is not a sin but a blessing.

This civil marriage violates the strict letter of the law, but** freedom of conscience comes into play here. **The right to marry is a natural-law right, and this right must be weighed against the doubt about the validity of the first marriage. A hateful, abusive husband is probably a psychologically damaged human being, whether we can prove his personality disorder or not.

It is a delicate issue, but very few priests would turn anyone away from receiving the Eucharist. The burden is on the person to do what he or she thinks is right.

A Catholic is bound to form his or her conscience according to the teaching of the magisterium, which is the Church’s highest teaching authority. What does this mean exactly?

Theologian and scholar Father Avery Dulles, S.J., in a talk given at a 1991 workshop for members of the hierarchy from all over North America—an assembly which included cardinals, archbishops and bishops—explained the relationship between conscience and the magisterium in this way:

“There is no perfect identity between conscience and the magisterium of the Church. Conscience is an interior, not an outer, voice…The magisterium fulfills the aspirations of conscience by enabling it to find the moral good at which it aims…For members of the Church, the magisterium is one, but only one, informant of conscience” (Proceedings of the Tenth Bishops’ Workshop, Dallas, Texas).

I was on the same program and I observed that there was no objection to this statement. This means that an informed conscience is not always a conformed conscience. The Church urges us to strive for conformity, but this is not always possible.

There is a great mystery here, but the Church upholds freedom of conscience to the extent that, even if a person is in error, he or she must obey an informed conscience. When it is informed, outsiders should respect the person’s conscience even if they disagree with it.

In my book Where Do You Stand With the Church?: The Dilemma of Divorced Catholics (Alba House, New York, 1996), I go into all these questions in greater detail.

These questions and answers may help you understand the Church’s discipline on marriage. One day we will all be judged on the way we have loved one another. This is the essential truth of the gospel.

Father John Catoir is executive director of Eva’s Village, New Jersey’s largest comprehensive poverty program and one of our nation’s largest emergency shelters. He headed the diocesan marriage tribunal in Paterson, New Jersey, for 10 years. From 1978 to 1995, he led The Christophers, hosting the weekly television series Christopher Closeup. In 1995, he founded St. Jude Media Ministry, a national radio and TV apostolate aimed at the unchurched.

This is such a wonderful answer I had to learn about this

I have read some of the OP’s posts and I pray she gets some replies.

I am so sorry. My dh is in the process now, and I just don’t know how I’ll feel if it’s denied :frowning: I finally found a Home! What if I can’t come Home?

You are in my prayers, hon!

You can come home, no matter what the outcome. You just can’t live in a consistently sinful state (such as a sexual relationship) with someone you are not married to, in the church.

I want to thank everyone for their prayers. Tina I will consider trying to make an adoration. Will look into it. I have been praying to God through the intercession of Mary, though past couple days has been kinda rough going questioning why this has happened. So your prayer is one that I will write down. I know what you mean about sanity - big front at work, ripped up on the inside. Lexee, you said it yourself in your last para, and I will agree with you re: God knowing what is in my heart. This is what I learned from the priest that visited our parish, and he reiterated that every word he spoke at the retreat was approved by the Catholic Church. He would never have been allowed to present the retreat in a Catholic Church. Perhaps read my prior posts - that might really flip you out. I do thank you for the well wishes. Chevalier, thanks for input. It does not appear that an evaluation was made, and this may be the basis of his appeal. He is going to try to find out. I am in process of trying to find a canon lawyer. I guess what we don’t understand is that no further inquisitions were made of what was written. What we thought was sufficient was apparently lacking; even the person who helped with the written work thought it was acceptable; otherwise he would have held off on submission. He will be taking it a step further by appeal or possibly reapplying. We are not sure how all that works, but I think it will have to go through another diocese. Still haven’t decided which way to go. What has made this tremendously difficult and unfair is he can’t remember things so far back. Again, I wish to thank everyone for their time and prayers.

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