Church is asking $500 for an annulment!


My fiance finally has the paperwork done for his annulment (been 1 year in the making!) and before the church sends it off to the archdiocese they ask for a $500 fee! I think that is ridiculous. We are not rich people and to pay that much only to still have it take 12-15 months to go through the system is crazy. They give you the option of paying all, some or none. What if we choose none? Does that mean that goes to the bottom of the pile and the people who paid $500 get top service? What if we pay the $500, does that mean they’ll push it through. We are very fed up with the process.


I think the fact that you are complaining is ridiculous. There are a entire staff of people who work on this FOR YOU. How do you suppose they feed their families? They deserve a just wage, just like everyone else.

You are not paying for a speedy petition. You are paying for the people who will spend many long hours reviewing your case.

And, I venture to guess you will be spending more than $500 on your wedding if the marriage is declared null.

What a bunch of whining you are doing.

If you put down “none” when you really can pay the $500 then you need to go to Confession and repent for your sinful, bitter attitude.

If you **really **cannot afford $500, or to pay it out over time or at least pay something, then put down less or none.

Then I don’t think you are really ready to being a new proces— marriage. Why are you engaged to a person not free to make such a committment? You’ve put the engagement before the decree of nullity.

I hope you will prayerfully consider a change in attitude towards the process.


Ok, look at it another way: the people who work on your case all need to be paid a salary. You pay your dentist, your doctor, your car-mechanic…you wouldn’t dream of not paying your rent or mortgage because it’s ‘ridiculous’…So, why would this be different?

Anyway, annulments are not a ‘dead cert’, I do know people who’s marriages were found sacramental and valid. Theoretically your fiance should have ‘gotten’ his annulment FIRST, because he is NOT ‘free to date’, until and if it is decided his previous marriage was null from the get-go…Canon lawyers have to thrawl through PILES of paperwork, read witness statements and read up the valid Bible & Church laws …that takes time, and they are in a job like any other. Why should they be denied the opportunity to pay their bills and earn a living wage?

Ofcourse, for those who truly cannot pay, there are ‘freebies’, but on the whole $500 is cheap! Because let’s face it, if your fiance’s marriage gets annuled, how much will you spend on your wedding and honeymoon? I have a sneaky suspicion it’ll be more than $500, and you wouldn’t think THAT was ‘ridiculous’…would you?

Anna x


the actual cost to the diocese for the legal investigation and work involved, even for a simple annulment, is several thousand dollars (similar to the cost of a civil divorce). The diocese asks this nominal and exceedingly reasonable fee to help defray the costs. If you are truly in need to the extent you can’t pay you simply tell your priest or tribunal advocate and arrangements can be made for payments if necessary, and it being waived in true necessity. This fee is less than in most dioceses. Your fellow Catholics in your diocese are being very generous in underwriting the expenses involved in your case, you should thank them.

if you do not pay the fee and make no response, no letter, no phone call, the person handling the case would be justified in assuming you do not want to pursue it, so if there is a financial hardship you should certainly call immediately and explain so the case is not delayed.

by the way, you do not have a fiance. You are involved with a married man, until he does receive a decree of nullity, so the terminology is improper, and conducting yourself as such could lead to great heartache if it does not happen, and there are no guarantees. For your own best interests and peace of mind, it would be best to conduct your relationship on a friendship level until he is free to marry.


In addition to what others have noted, one might put this in perspective by asking how much your fiance’s wedding party cost. Even “not rich” people these days spend more than $500 a year on cable TV. Maybe not you, but just for perspective, $500 sounds like a bargain. A lot of back-office work goes into these things.


You have to ask yourself is it worth it. I would say oh yes. This is a chance others would love to have. What is 500. today. Maybe a gallon of gas. And if they gave you the option to pay in payments, I would Thank God for this great gift.


I would assume the attorney who handled your fiance’s divorce charged significantly more. Just saying.


Well, how much did the divorce cost? How much will the wedding cost? Put it in perspective. Are we willing to spend $500 (which does not nearly equal the actual expense the Diocese spends on an annullment) to make our marriage, if an annullment is granted, right in the eyes of God? What is important here?

Make some type of arrangements to pay the bill if you don’t have the money up front. They will work with you. That is not an unreasonable fee. A lot of things cost $500, much of which we don’t actually need, yet people don’t hesitate to make time payments on these things.


This is a side question–but are we as Catholics ‘allowed’ to be engaged to someone who is in the process of an annulment? I mean, suppose the annulment doesn’t go through? I have read different threads on this, and just wondered.:confused:


If it were me- and I have gone through the decree of nullity process- I would double-check that fee. I agree with the others, in that your fiance is getting the services of not only an attorney (the advocate), but the filing filing fees for what is somewhat akin to a court process, along with a staff of people to process the whole file. Those people who do this for a living have to eat. And I have yet to see a civil divorce attorney who is paid less than $2500; plus the cost of filing, and court costs ($200+ filing, $250 upwards other court costs). The tribunal is doing the whole thing for $500. Big bargain!!

However, I would go to the diocese or archdiocese web site and double-check that amount. I would also, if I could not afford $500 in payments, fill out an application to have the processing fee reduced or waived.

If it was me, I would have to think twice about a man who did not love me enough to pay $500 to determine whether or not he was still married in the eyes of God according to his Church, which happens to be, apparently, the Catholic Church. If you do not love him enough to to wait for him to allow him to go through the process, perhaps you should reconsider your engagement.


Well mapper… I guess I don’t really need to say a thing… I think you know what we think about it. What I am going to say is that the fee schedule is for people who really really can’t pay… When I was going through my annulment I was the sole supporter of 3 children (and no child support). My pastor knew my income because I was employed by the parish school… and still I paid… $5 a week for a very long time… If you want it bad enough, you will do it. If you seriously can’t pay and can’t even make arrangements for payment, yes they will waive the fee, but it really would be a shame to cheat a church for your own selfish reasons…


The cost of this process in your diocese is obviously being offset by something - maybe CSA funds. In my diocese the cost (several thousands) is entirely covered by CSA funds. That is not the case in all areas. You are extremely fortunate that a good portion of the cost is being covered for you. Not everyone is so blessed.



He is apparently the Catholic, as her profile lists her as “N/A”. He is not, and should not be, dating, let alone engaged; what her denomination determines is up to that denomination.

I am sure this is a conflicting issue for them, as I am sure it is hard for her to understand why the Church has the authority to grant a decree of nullity on a past marriage, let alone request any amount of money for the processing of the two tribunals meeting, requesting and reading his testimony, his ex-wife’s testimony if she participates, his witnesses, the ex-wife’s witnesses, looking up canon law, and all the paperwork leading up to a determination.

Just adding: A fiance is male. A fiancee is female. I looked up the OP’s other postins, and it is confusing whether the OP is a he or she. However, the OP is definitely the non-Catholic, and there is some confusion as to whether the fiance/ fiancee is even bapitzed, and then there is a mattter of Lack of Form.


Will again give the advice that unless there is a decree from the tribunal, the OP needs to consider this person to be a married man and should step back to remaining friends. If it is determined he is free to marry, then begin discussing the issues of dating/marriage to a non-Catholic with your Priest.


Well shucks I messed that up the last few years. :smiley:


ok! I thought so.


To the OP:
The nerve you have to expect the Church to foot the bill for your “fiance’s” annulment. I am sure your fiance is a big boy and should have took it like a man to take care of his annulment the right way. I’d be willing to bet that you will probably spend more on beer/wine for your wedding. I guess the inconvience of doing what is RIGHT is too much to bother with. PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES AND DEAL WITH IT! How selfish and immature of you~shame on you! You SHOULD WANT fiance to be clear to marry you properly instead of whinning about the cost. IMHO, they should charge way more considering how much work goes into it. Quit whining and pay up.:mad:


…and this attitude stinks. Who are you to insinuate that the Church is “payed off” to make annulments go faster. Your fiance should have thought of the consequnces of a marriage that did not work. This reflects society’s attitude of marriage as being disposible. Marriage is a sacrament and should be treated that way not as an inconvinence when the parties decide to go to greener pastures.


The only thing I have to add is that you/we are so fortunate that they offer the options of “some” or “none.” How great for the person who is barely making ends meet to be able to still have his/her marriage investigated.

Please remember this this is process really isn’t about you. The sole purpose is to determine if your “fiance” is married still. If it is determine that he is, you will not be able to marry him of course.

I do have to say again, that if he is not even able to cover his basic expenses, he will not have to pay at all. If he does have some spending money the $20/week for 6 months or $10/week for 12 months is well spent. If he is spending more than that “courting” you and you are both planing to have a big wedding with all the expensive clothes, flowers, music, party . . . it seems that this small amount is more than reasonable.


Hmmmmmm!!! We sent more than asked of us and then sent a “thank you” to those who helped us, the tribunal, etc. It was more than worth every penny. I have a niece who refuses to get an annulment because the “.church asks too much money for the process”. I know she wouldn’t work a week for $500.00 much less than a year. Guess we all have our opinions and priorities.

Love and peace,
Mom of 5

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