My daughter recently received in the mail a questionaire about her ex wanting to get married in a Catholic Church. She was married for 13 and a half years to this man. In my eyes, the years they went to college together, their marrying and their love for one another, two children and lost one, this is the meaning of marraige.
The Catholic lady that is wanting to get married in the Catholic Church is the reason for my daughter’s divorce. We may even be seeking alienation of affection against her after all is said and done.
It is against my beliefs to annul a marraige just so one can get married in the Catholic Church. In my eyes, yet again, this means to me, my grandchildren are denied they were ever conceived and were born out of wedlock.
I have not received my questionaire as of yet, but am waiting on the form.
How does my daughter, grandmother and a grandfather stop this annulment when we are “outside” the Catholic faith?
Thank you for your time.
Divorce is always a tragedy and is emotionally difficult on everyone involved, especially children.
In the Catholic Church marriage is considered to be a permanent and life long commitment and sacrament. However, unfortunately, some people enter into marriage without the capacity, intention, or understanding to properly make that commitment. A declaration of nullity (aka "annulment) is a statement by the Catholic Church that at the time two people exchanged marital consent, there was something essential missing that prevented a valid marriage bond from being formed. Both parties need to be capable of making the commitment and have the understanding and intent to do so. Sometimes one party enters the marriage with all the essentials and one party does not. It is very distressing to the party that entered marriage properly, however the sacrament does require both parties to enter validly for the sacrament to be valid.
The number one question asked regarding annulments is if a declaration of nullity renders the children illegitimate. In the eyes of the Church this is not the case. At the time of the child’s birth, they were born of a legal marriage in civil law and a putative marriage in canon law (which means that everyone thought in good faith that the marriage was valid). So at the moment of the child’s birth, he or she was civilly and canonically legitimate. An annulment does not retroactively affect a child’s legitimacy. An annulment only declares that a sacrament did not take place, it does not erase the civil and emotional history of the marriage.
There is nothing that can be done to “stop” the annulment process. However, the former spouse does have the right to review and respond to the testimony of the person seeking the annulment and that of the witnesses. The former spouse also has the right to give testimony and provide their own witnesses. The tribunal will review the testimony of both sides and make it’s decision based on the evidence provided. Not every application for an annulment is granted and there is no guarantee that this one will be. However, even if it is granted the former spouse does have the right to appeal the decision.
I will keep your family in my prayers. God bless.