Bumps in Annulment/RCIA

I’m having a frustrating bump in the road.

I talked to my local parish’s deacon, who was awesome, about joining the Church. In short, I am on my third marriage and current hubby is a (very) lapsed Catholic who has no desire to participate in anything religious.

I was told my first marriage, with a non-baptised guy, would be annulled easily with proof of his first marriage certificate and divorce decree. I got in touch with Husband Number One. He is skeptical and says he talked to “friends familiar with the Catholic religion” and “they don’t know why you would want this.” Yes, it’s public record, but in our state I cannot get copies of the certificate and decrees as I am not one of the two spouses. If I knew the date of marriage, I might be able to order the info online, but I would have to fork over some money, stretching our thin finances. I would never be able to justify that to current hubby.

I feel so frustrated!!! I am thankful our diocese eats the cost of annulments, but this snag is a straw on the camel’s back!!!

Any ideas? Deacon keeps insisting there should be a way to get this info.

I just need to vent/get ideas/have prayers!!!


Have your skeptical ex read up on Ligamen nullity cases. It is very straightforward and not some sort of plot on the part of the Church. They really do need these documents. Perhaps if he understands the process he will be less reluctant to give the documents.

If he absolutely will not and you cannot get the information any other way, then you will have to go for a formal nullity case instead. Or, if you are also unbaptized you might be able to go Pauline Privilege.

These sites list out all the paperwork needed for a Ligamen case:



This one has a great explanation and diagram of Ligamen:


And these show all the options for various situations:



Can you get in touch with maybe one of his friends or relatives and ask them for the date? It sounds like he just wants to give you a hard time; you are already divorced and giving you such simple information would not be out of his way.

If he was not baptized and you were, you can get the your marriage to him dissolved by the Pope, Petrine Privilege. It has to go to Rome, but is quite straight forward if all the paperwork is in order.

It is quite similar to the Pauline Privilege which applies when neither party has been baptized and can be obtained through the diocese. When I ran the RCIA a few years back we were encouraged to use it where applicable. It was supposed to take about three months, but don’t be distressed if it take six.

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