I have just received my first notice that the church has declared my 21 year marriage invalid, I am going to appeal their decision to Rome, has anyone ever done this?? and how long does it take to get their decision.


So, it seems your spouse applied for and received a decree of nullity in the court of first instance, but you believe the marriage is valid.

I suggest talking to someone in your diocese. The next step is to go to the court of second instance, then to the Rota.

Get the details on your situation and the steps necessary from those who are handling the case.


You are correct she did file, and yes it was a valid marriage, this decision was ridiculious, I have als learned the court of second instance is a waste of timeand you can appeal directly to Rome, which I’m going to do. Thank-you


Just be aware that YOU will be responsible for all costs for this appeal, including any translation of any documents into any other languages as required. I know this is not a money issue, but something to be aware of before you get into this.

You may also wish to contact this lawyer who fights for Catholic marriage:



not always, by-passing this step can cause actually more delay and problems, see the concurrent thread on the Rausch-Kennedy case.


Unfortunately it is a money issue for me, but what’s right is right, I will find a way if I have to get a part time job, I’s about time someone stads up for what the Catholic churc has been preaching all these years, and what thes tribunals are doing here in the US, this decision was just plain wrong, 21 years of marriage cannot be declared invalid.


understand your pain, but the judgement was not about the 21 years of marriage, it was about conditions that pertained at the time of the marriage, and you are right to pursue the appeal if you disagree. However, be prepared for the fact that bypassing the 2nd appeal and going straight to Rome can greatly delay your answer.


If you appeal directly to the Rota and use it as your court of second instance and the decision is split, then you have a real can of worms.

Bypassing the court of second instance is not a good idea.


How much have you studied the Church’s teaching regarding validity of marriages?

The duration of a marriage has no bearing on its validity or nullity.

I suggest you obtain a copy of Michael Smith Foster’s book Annulment: The Wedding That Was.


This is my understanding as well and a good reference.


I agree with annie (again–agreed with her in another thread) that annulments are not based on years of marriage, etc…

My question to you is what do you hope to gain by appealing? If your marriage was found to be invalid, and you counter that, and let’s say you ‘win,’ do you feel that this will somehow reconcile things with your marriage? I ask because if your wife does not want to be married any longer for whatever the reasons, and your marriage was pronounced as invalid, then how does turning the ‘verdict’ to your marriage being valid, change things with your wife? In time, you might want to find someone else to marry–maybe–and if your marriage was found to be invalid, that will allow you an opportunity to move on with your life. Not saying that you are wrong to feel the way you do, but feeings are fleeting. If your wife left and your marriage was determined to be invalid, then perhaps that is the Holy Spirits way of releasing you from a life of torment, wishing things could be different with your wife. I guess I see things a bit differently, as I’m totally objective in this. I am sorry this is happening:( , but my one question is…what do you hope to gain by doing this?


My question to you is what do you hope to gain by appealing?

My thoughts are related to this question as well. Do you not want your ex-wife to be happy? And as someone else mentioned, what if you one day, you have finally healed from the divorce and are ready to move on and possibly remarry? You are now free to do so.

However, I do understand your viewpoint on the process of annulments and it seems the church is handing out annulments right and left, just so people can remarry.

How can 2 people who willfully make that promise to love, honor, cherish…till death do us part be granted an annulment. What possible excuses do they give the tribunal for their ill decision to marry? How is it possible that the tribunal can break apart what God has yolked together? Of course by the church’s stance, the marriage was never yolked together, in the first place.

I have a friend who filed and was granted 3 annulments all at the same time. Now she has a chemical imbalance that could have impaired her decision to marry. However, she is successful in many other commitments, but obviously marriage isn’t one of them. The man she is married to now was granted an annulment for his marriage of 25 years. He told the tribunal that he just did not understand what “true love” or “true marriage” was about when he married his 1st wife.

Who really has a full knowledge or understanding of what marriage is about when they agree to it? I know I didn’t. If we could see into the future and see what our married lives would be like, how many of us would agree to marry?

I also know there are many reasons why people divorce, and I think that divorce is necessary.

I wish for you, Vincent the healing power of Jesus, so that you are able to forgive your wife and move on. Maybe you could try to find a support group for divorced men and women through your parish. Our parish has one. There are many people out there like you.


Have you had the chance to talk to your ex-wife of why she was granted an annulment? She may have some reasons that have nothing to do with you but with her.
When I got married at an early age of 19yrs. old I was young and stupid but my parents forced me to get married before I could leave home. I chose to get married just to leave home. I was in a depressed state of mind when I got married due to having alcoholic parents and I just wanted to get away from them. I chose a nice boy to marry me eventhough I wasn;t ready for marriage. I knew after two weeks that I had made a serious mistake of getting married and wanted out of the marriage but since I am Catholic I stayed married as long as I could until one day I couldn’t take it anymore and just left him.

I am planning to get an annulment soon with my adult son’s blessing because his father needs to get married by the Catholic church to his new wife. I don’t need to slam or talk badly of my ex-husband or get him envolved when I apply for the annulment.
I plan to blame it all on me because it is true that I was forced to get married by my parents and I have several witnesses to prove it. Plus I have other private information on myself that will help me get my annulment.

I think you should talk to your ex-wife about it before wasting your time and getting nowhere. I am sure there was a good reason for the annulment. I have a feeling that it was her that maybe had a secret or did something to cause the marriage not to be valid when you two got married many years ago.
It might help to tell her what your plans are so she can tell you the real reason for the annulment. She may have what you call solid factual hard evidence. I wish you the best. Peace


Can’t you go and review the file at the diocesean Tribunal office? I thought that you can review, just not make copies, of all the testimonies. If you did that, you may see what made your marriage invalid. Again, you can only be certain of your part, but never 100% of hers. She could have had a relationship on the side that you did not know about, she could have had many reservations and decided to proceed instead of being wise and postpoining or calling off the marriage, She could have felt that she should have been married because all her friends were getting married and didn’t want to feel left out. Maybe you should check and see.


I agree with Marie that there is something in your ex-wife past that she didn’t tell you about. She could have had a boyfriend on the side that you never knew about. She could have married you because her parents didn’t approve of the man she truly loved. They made her marry you for whatever reasons they had. Some People carrry many secrets and skeletions sp in their closets when they get married.
My father had many secrets of relationships and marriages with other women when he married my Mom. I didn;t find out until recently about my dad’s secrets. He had married my mom while he was still married to another woman. Which means my mom’s marriage was not valid. My dad has died already and my mom is doing well in her old age. She also has many secrets of her own. My parents were ilegally married for 70yrs. with all their secrets. They got married by an Army Chaplin when my dad was in the army. They were not Catholics and did as they pleased with their lives. The got married in 1938 when we didn’t have computers.
My life is an open book and I don’t like to keep secrets unless it is to protect someone.
As you can see there are many reasons for annulments.


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