Decree of Nullity


#1

Hello,

My wife and I are both Catholics in the USA but we were not married in the Catholic church since she was previously married in the Church and did not receive an annulment. We are now going through a civil divorce because I found out she has been having an affair. Since we were never married in the Church, is it necessary for me to obtain a decree of nullity from the Church if I wanted to remarry in the future? If it is still necessary then would the fact that she is having an affair be justification to obtain a decree of nullity?

Thank You


#2

Yes, you would need a declaration of nullity. However, given that she had not had a declaration of nullity from her previous marriage, this should be an administrative procedure and should not take very long. I believe that, in a case such as this, all you should need are the required documents and there should be no interviews or formal nullity trial required. Still, you should speak with your parish priest if you wish to begin the process.


#3

[quote="His_helpmeet, post:2, topic:327781"]
Yes, you would need a declaration of nullity. However, given that she had not had a declaration of nullity from her previous marriage, this should be an administrative procedure and should not take very long. I believe that, in a case such as this, all you should need are the required documents and there should be no interviews or formal nullity trial required. Still, you should speak with your parish priest if you wish to begin the process.

[/quote]

Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.


#4

[quote="grokrc, post:1, topic:327781"]
Hello,

My wife and I are both Catholics in the USA but we were not married in the Catholic church since she was previously married in the Church and did not receive an annulment. We are now going through a civil divorce because I found out she has been having an affair. Since we were never married in the Church, is it necessary for me to obtain a decree of nullity from the Church if I wanted to remarry in the future? If it is still necessary then would the fact that she is having an affair be justification to obtain a decree of nullity?

Thank You

[/quote]

Adultery is not grounds for an annulment. However, you are not considered to be in a valid marriage in the first place. First and foremost, you were married outside of the Church without dispensation. Second, your "wife" was not free to marry due to a prior bond.

You are dealing with a lack of form case, which is straightforward in the U.S.


#5

[quote="His_helpmeet, post:2, topic:327781"]
Yes, you would need a declaration of nullity. However, given that she had not had a declaration of nullity from her previous marriage, this should be an administrative procedure and should not take very long. I believe that, in a case such as this, all you should need are the required documents and there should be no interviews or formal nullity trial required. Still, you should speak with your parish priest if you wish to begin the process.

[/quote]

I agree that it would be an administrative procedure (as opposed to a full blown investigation by the tribunal) but not for the reason given here. The fact that the OP is Catholic but was not married in the Church would render his marriage invalid due to lack of form.

As mentioned above, the first step is to speak with your priest.


#6

[quote="TheWarriorMonk, post:4, topic:327781"]
Adultery is not grounds for an annulment. However, you are not considered to be in a valid marriage in the first place. First and foremost, you were married outside of the Church without dispensation. Second, your "wife" was not free to marry due to a prior bond.

You are dealing with a lack of form case, which is straightforward in the U.S.

[/quote]

This.

You need to speak to your priest and go from there.


#7

[quote="BettyBoop416, post:5, topic:327781"]
I agree that it would be an administrative procedure (as opposed to a full blown investigation by the tribunal) but not for the reason given here. The fact that the OP is Catholic but was not married in the Church would render his marriage invalid due to lack of form.

As mentioned above, the first step is to speak with your priest.

[/quote]

Also, his "wife" was not free to marry to begin with, so that matters as well. Had they attempted marriage in a Catholic Church as required for a Catholic, that relationship would have prevented their attempt from going forward without her first receiving a Decree of Nullity regarding her prior relationship.


#8

[quote="His_helpmeet, post:2, topic:327781"]
Yes, you would need a declaration of nullity. However, given that she had not had a declaration of nullity from her previous marriage, this should be an administrative procedure and should not take very long. I believe that, in a case such as this, all you should need are the required documents and there should be no interviews or formal nullity trial required. Still, you should speak with your parish priest if you wish to begin the process.

[/quote]

Having been through the process, I educated myself heavily on this. The above reply nails it. Fine job.


#9

[quote="grokrc, post:1, topic:327781"]
Hello,

....is it necessary for me to obtain a decree of nullity from the Church if I wanted to remarry in the future? If it is still necessary then would the fact that she is having an affair be justification to obtain a decree of nullity?

Thank You

[/quote]

All marriages are considered valid by the Church UNTIL it has been declared null by the Marriage Tribunal.

Some marriages are quickly seen as invalid, such as a Catholic not getting married in the Church (Lack of Form) or a marriage after a divorce without the previous one being first declared null.

An annulment declares that there was never a union made where God bound the couple as one. An annulment is based on information about the couple on the date of their marriage. For example, if one of the couple was not free to marry, then the Tribunal will state the marriage to be null, as God did not unite the couple since one spouse was not free to marry.

What happens in a marriage can cause the couple to seek a civil divorce, but it does not mean the couple was never in a valid marriage. Annulments are not based on events after the marriage - such as an affair.

Please speak with your priest who will help you get the proper forms to submit to the Marriage Tribunal.


#10

A lack of form does not have any presumption of validity.

A lack of form is not a decree of nullity. In fact, in most of the world the pastor handles the paperwork during the premarital investigation. The US and Canada have the paperwork processed by the diocese, hence the confusionn with a decree of nullity.

A ligamen case is less complex, but not necessarily quick. It depends upon the tribunal.

It is important to note that this is not accurate from a canon law perspective. A decree of nullity declares a defect of consent or an impediment to valid marriage existed. It makes no statement about God binding the couple as one. A decree of nullity can be obtaind for a natural marriage-- one between a Catholic and unbaptized person, between two unbaptized, even complete non-believers. Non-believers can contract valid marriages.

A valid marriage between the baptized is a sacrament and is indissoluable by virtue of its sacramental character.


#11

[quote="1ke, post:10, topic:327781"]
A lack of form does not have any presumption of validity.

A lack of form is not a decree of nullity. In fact, in most of the world the pastor handles the paperwork during the premarital investigation. The US and Canada have the paperwork processed by the diocese, hence the confusionn with a decree of nullity.

A ligamen case is less complex, but not necessarily quick. It depends upon the tribunal.

It is important to note that this is not accurate from a canon law perspective. A decree of nullity declares a defect of consent or an impediment to valid marriage existed. It makes no statement about God binding the couple as one. A decree of nullity can be obtaind for a natural marriage-- one between a Catholic and unbaptized person, between two unbaptized, even complete non-believers. Non-believers can contract valid marriages.

A valid marriage between the baptized is a sacrament and is indissoluable by virtue of its sacramental character.

[/quote]

Thanks for helping, I always have my terminology wrong..... but what I meant to express to the OP, is "Yes, he should seek an annulment (or other proper title) within the Church so that he can be free if he would like to marry some day..... and that annulments are not based on what happens during a marriage such as with an affair."


#12

[quote="1ke, post:10, topic:327781"]
A valid marriage between the baptized is a sacrament and is indissoluable by virtue of its sacramental character.

[/quote]

A valid, sacramental, consummated marriage is indissoluble.


#13

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