Contacting ex-spouse for annulment..I'm worried


I am starting the annulment process as part of RCIA. My only concern is the contact with my ex-wife. We were married young, had a horrible divorce, and have had no contact in the past 8 years. We were married for 18 months before she filed for divorce.

We had no children, so there is no need for contact. I am scared of her getting something in the mail from the Tribunal and opening all sorts of old wounds. I was told that she will be contacted, but can choose not to cooperate.

It took me years to get over all the hurt, and I don’t want it dug up again.

She was physically abusive to me, and once when I tried to leave, I had to push her out of the way. She filed a police report telling everyone that I was the physical one. Come to find out she had all sorts of mental health issues that were not treated. I am worried that she would make the same accusations today.

I don’t know if I can take the pain of this again.

Any suggestions on how to get through this? I am tearing up just thinking about it.


I’m sorry to hear this. You say this happened 8 yrs ago? That’s a long time, and people grow up. She may be entirely different now, and may be very easy going, and sign the necessary papers. Pray pray and pray s’more. I think that you have nothing to lose in contacting her…sometimes, the fear of confronting a situation, is worse than actually confronting it. Good luck…and you’ll be in my prayers.


My husband and I were just baptised in the faith and we had to get anullments from our previous spouses. The one thing in our favor was no one in the bunch of us- 2 ex spouses, had ever been baptised and we had not had any contact with our ex’es for several years. No one was contacted about anything and we were both young when we married the first time. So maybe things wont be as bad as you think, the not being baptised helped our situation alot. We came into the church in jan, started classes in sept and then had our answer this jan and was baptised on Easter Vigil. I will pray for you but even if something would delay things for you, dont despair as long as you are going to mass and being close to God thats whats important and things will work out as long as you have faith.


Forgot to add a couple of things to my first post…

I have no idea how she is, remarried, kids, etc. After the divorce, she was “stalking” me and I considered a restraining order, but a call to her lawyer stopped it.

We were married Baptist and were both baptized, she as a teenager, and myself as an infant.

The relationship was just very, very bad. I guess this just part of the journey. Thanks for the prayers.


I don’t think it will be as bad as you think. I will pray for you. You may even find the process somewhat cathartic–I know I did. It closed the doors forever on what had been a very unhappy period in my life.

The Marriage Tribunal only required me to furnish them with the last address I had for my ex–I did not have any contact with him whatsoever. I have no idea if he even bothered to respond. That was not my problem. I had only to answer as honestly and as forthrightly as possible the rather extensive questionaire given to me by the Tribunal. My witnesses did the same. When they (my witnesses) asked me what to say, I replied, “Just tell the truth.” I didn’t hold anything back, nor did I embellish. When the process was over, I experienced profound peace. Coming into the Church on Holy Saturday 1997 was well worth the effort.

God Bless You!


rmstexas, I’ll pray for you.

I worried about this when I filed my petition in January. Granted, my divorce was only last year, but I want never to see or hear from my ex again, so I understand some of your concern.

For the couple of weeks after I filed, I worried if I would hear from him. Nothing.

It’s my suspicion that someone who hasn’t bothered to contact you before now will probably not bother. She likely won’t participate since she doesn’t have much motivation.

I’m pretty sure in the case of my ex, since he was too lazy to participate in our marriage, he’s probably too lazy to answer 8 PAGES of questions at a Tribunal’s request. I expect he threw it in the trash. :rolleyes:

My diocese told me that very few people even bother to go to the chancery to get copies of what the other party said about the marriage. Seems there’s not often much motivation to care.

Don’t let fear about this mess up your plans for your future. Do what is right for you. What’s the worst that can happen? Call you? Mail you a nasty-gram? Tell people things about you that your real friends won’t believe? File a police report that one letter (that doesn’t even come from your address) means you’re harrassing her? Sue you for emotional distress? All laughable when you think about them. She won’t “stalk” you because she doesn’t have time with the new kids and hubby, and one call to her lawyer scared her off before. You are strong enough to handle this. If she does something dumb, you can deal with it with God’s help. Don’t let her keep you from His Church…He wants you and will give you the strength you need.

I’ll be your prayer buddy on this if you want help. :slight_smile:



I don’t think the RCC would expect you to have an annulment if you were baptised outside of the Church? I’m not 100% on that…but unless you were married in the RCC…why would you need an annulment?


The Church gives a marriage between two baptized Christians the same assumption of validity as a marriage between two Catholics, I think.


Only Catholics are bound by canon law for marrying in the Church. So, this former marriage would need to be investigated by the tribunal.

FYI - a marriage between a non-Catholic Christian and an agnostic who married at the courthouse would be presumed to be valid (it just wouldn’t be sacramental).



Rmstexas, don’t worry. Your wife’s participation is not required. She can’t block the proceedings by not showing up. Provide the tribunal with all the evidence, witnesses etc you can.


IF she gets the paperwork- and you don’t have to hunt her down, as udoc89 pointed out, just supply the last address you have- it is up to her to complete it. If she doesn’t that’s OK. It won’t hold up things. If she does and trashes you, well, how does that make her look?

You have to fill out the paperwork on your end, and tell about what went on, as well. And you have to have witnesses.

In any case, the tribunal will NOT supply her with your address.


I’m about to go thru the same thing with an annulment. can anyone give me a rough estimate on how much it will cost?


what do you mean by witnesses?


Search “anullment” and “decree of nullity”. It varies from diocese to diocese. In our state, one diocese is as low as $150, where another charges up to three times that amount. It is an incredible amount of work that the tribunal does, and it never turns anybody away for lack of funds.


dalesmom: A nullity investigation is a “paper trial” based on canon law. As such, when someone submits a petition they are asked to provide a list of people (witnesses - friends and family) that have agreed to be contacted regarding the parties and their relationship before they met, during their engagement, and the beginning and duration of their marriage so the tribunal can get a variety of viewpoints from which to draw their conclusions.


ooooooooooh! sure is complicated!:rolleyes:


So far, the nullity process has been both more straightforward and cheaper than the events around my civil divorce, though perhaps a bit more difficult to get status updates. Since they don’t talk tot people in person, a variety of witnesses becomes much more important to them in trying to build a picture of how things actually transpired.


Or try searching “Annulment” which is the right way to spell it. :wink:


I get up at 4:30 AM, so the fingers don’t always spell check, or even type correctly.


“Decree of nullity” is easier to spell and more correct. :stuck_out_tongue:

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