Questions regarding my annulment process


#1

Hello everyone, I have a couple of questions that I was hoping to get a little help on. I was previously married to a man who was baptized Catholic at the time I was Baptist. We have completed the divorce process and I have the divorce decree. I have since then become a full believer in the Catholic Church. I spoke with a deacon who said that the marriage was not valid and that I just needed to get a copy of his baptismal record and the process would be rather speedy. Although I am having a really hard time finding his baptismal record as well as he won’t even tell me the state he was baptized in. since I am not baptized catholic will this work? Can I give them my baptismal record? How can I do this? Please any help would be amazing!


#2

Were you married in a Catholic Church? If you were married in a Catholic church, you could go to it and they might have on record where he was baptized. I am not sure why you would need his baptism record. Also check with the annulment tribunal in your diocese to see what you need and what to do. I think as part of the annulment process, he would have to be interviewed and they may request it from him. Good luck. The people I have known who have gone through the annulment process said it was very healing and put the past behind them.
God bless.


#3

[quote="ur1stkid, post:1, topic:301262"]
Hello everyone, I have a couple of questions that I was hoping to get a little help on. I was previously married to a man who was baptized Catholic at the time I was Baptist. We have completed the divorce process and I have the divorce decree. I have since then become a full believer in the Catholic Church. I spoke with a deacon who said that the marriage was not valid and that I just needed to get a copy of his baptismal record and the process would be rather speedy. Although I am having a really hard time finding his baptismal record as well as he won’t even tell me the state he was baptized in. since I am not baptized catholic will this work? Can I give them my baptismal record? How can I do this? Please any help would be amazing!

[/quote]

It sounds like the deacon means your marriage was invalid because you were not married to this Catholic man in accordance with the laws of the Catholic Church. His baptismal record would show that he was never married "in the Church".

I take it that the divorce was not amicable since he doesn't want to cooperate with you by giving you his baptismal information. Are you on speaking terms with any of his family members who might know? Childhood Catholic friends? Do you know where he lived when he was born? Has the deacon given you any advice on how to find the info?


#4

Where did you get married? The Catholic Church usually requires a copy of the baptismal certificate as part of the marriage process; you might be able to see that copy, which would tell you where to search for the original.

Alternatively, you could guess: where was he born? Catholics are frequently baptised within a few weeks after birth, in the parish they attend at the time. This might be the parish where you married him, or you might be able to figure it out based on where he grew up. Or, if he was baptised in his parents’ childhood parish, you could try there.

If his parents were in the U.S. military when he was born, you could try the Archidiocese for the Military Services; they have baptismal records for people baptised on military bases.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope this helps.


#5

No one on this Internet forum can tell you whether your marriage is valid or not. Likewise, neither can the deacon. Of course, we don’t know what he exactly said. He might have said there are doubts about its validity. Only a Church tribunal can make this decision. It will be their decision that counts.

I also know the deacon couldn’t have based his opinion on the facts you’ve given us. What I believe that matters in your situation is where you were married. If you were married in a Catholic church and followed the Church’s laws that would give your marriage the presumption of validity. What would be your presumed grounds for having it declared null and void?

If you were married in a non-Catholic ceremony, in a non-Catholic church, by a non-Catholic minister or were married in a civil ceremony there might be grounds to determine whether your marriage is valid or not. Your husband, as a Catholic, is bound to marry according to what the Catholic Church calls correct form. If you were not married in the Catholic Church was your husband definitely a Catholic at the time? Do you know for certain that he wasn’t granted dispensation from proper form?

I suggest making an appointment with the Catholic priest where you are discerning your faith. He can ask, in confidentiality, all the questions he needs to know answers to in order to advise you what to do next.


#6

ur1stkid,

SMHW seems to have hit it on the nose – at the time of your marriage, your ex (as a Catholic) was required to follow the form for marrying “in the Church”. (As a Baptist at the time, you were under no such requirement.) This requirement means that either he must be married at a Catholic Church or gotten permission from the diocese to have the wedding elsewhere (e.g., your Baptist church).

We’re presuming, given your question, that you weren’t married in a service in a Catholic Church. Right? So, the presumption is that he got permission to have the wedding elsewhere. This permission, when provided, will be noted on his baptismal record. (That’s why they’re asking for his baptismal info, and not for yours. In this situation, your baptismal information isn’t relevant, except that it demonstrates that you were not a Catholic at the time of the wedding.) If his baptismal record shows no such permission, then you’ve established the facts necessary for a “lack of form nullity”.

Do you know what parish he was a member of when you married? At the very least, you should know what diocese he was a member of, right? Perhaps you could contact the tribunal / department for canon law affairs of that diocese, and see what guidance they might be able to provide.

In any case, you might want to talk with your pastor (unless, of course, it was your pastor who referred you to the deacon). Provide them with whatever info you have (ex’s place of birth, his childhood parish or town, his parish at the time of the wedding), and see what advice they can give you. If you run into a brick wall, then a call to your diocese’s Tribunal, asking for a meeting to discuss how you might proceed, might be a good course of action.

I’ll keep you in my prayers!

Blessings,

G.


#7

The baptismal certificare establishes that the spouse was a Catholic and was thus required to marry in the Church.


#8

Asking the deacon or your pastor would probably yield more fruitful info. We can only speak in generalities.

Based on what you have said, it seems you are talking about what might be what is referred to as a “lack of form” case. Catholics are required by Canon Law to follow the proper form for marriage (getting married in a Church before a priest or deacon and two witnesses). Catholics also need a dispensation before marrying a non-Catholic. Thus, in those cases where a Catholic marries a non-Catholic in some other place and/or without a dispensation, the nullity process is much more straightforward. My hunch is that your deacon is asking for the baptismal certificate because it proves that your ex is a Catholic who did not follow the proper form.

If your ex will not tell you where he was baptized, that certainly makes your job more difficult. :frowning: Definitely ask the deacon or your pastor what to do next. Do you know where your ex was born? Perhaps you might be able to deduce where he was baptized based on where he was born and/or grew up. Or at least maybe narrow it down.


#9

They need it to prove he was Catholic, so that the marriage can be declared null due to lack of form.


#10

This might be a lack of form case. There is just not enough information. Was the husband a Catholic when the couple married or did he get baptized as a Catholic afterwards? Did the marriage not take place according to canonical form? Did the husband get a dispensation from canonical form? Even if it’s not recorded on his baptismal certificate didn’t mean he didn’t get one. Parish records are not always as accurate as they should be. This lady really needs to speak to a priest. There’s just too little information and we ought not to probe in to this lady’s private affairs.


#11

I’ve never seen a dispensation written on the Certificate of Baptism, although, obviously it’s recorded in the Baptismal register. I’ve only seen the date and place of the marriage.

Funny thing about dispensation from form. In Canada, per Decree 13 of the CCCB (promulgated June 26, 1987) it rests on the Catholic party to inform the Ordinary who granted the dispensation and the parish priest that the marriage has been celebrated and the public form in which it was celebrated.


#12

Its not that it is written on the baptismal certificate. It is that she must show that he is Catholic to show that there was a lack of form. It is very simple. Just call Churches in the area that he was born… If it was meant to be God will guide you.


#13

Hmm. Presumably, you’ve been looking on the back of the baptismal certificate? So, have you looked at the back of a baptismal certificate – issued following a marriage for which form was dispensed – for a notation about the dispensation?

Funny thing about dispensation from form. In Canada, per Decree 13 of the CCCB (promulgated June 26, 1987) it rests on the Catholic party to inform the Ordinary who granted the dispensation and the parish priest that the marriage has been celebrated and the public form in which it was celebrated.

I tried searching for CCCB Decree 13, but wasn’t able to find anything online. Might you provide the text of this decree in its entirety? Thanks! (After all, it seems that your assertion only speaks to the confirmation that the dispensation that had already been granted was, actually, utilized in a valid wedding ceremony…)


#14

Hmm… no (?). it is exactly the situation that, having established that her ex was a Catholic, that she demonstrates that he failed to adhere to form: and this is demonstrated by presenting a baptismal certificate that has absolutely no evidence of adherence to form. (If his baptismal certificate shows “baptized on xx/xx/xx” and “married at St XXX parish on xx/xx/xx”, then the conclusion to be reached was that the marriage was according to Catholic form…!)

The particular problem is that, while most Catholics will be baptized in “the area that he was born”, this isn’t necessarily the case. The other possibilities – that he was baptized somewhat after his birth, or that he was never baptized Catholic (although he presented himself as such) – that present the greater potential difficulties in ur1stkid’s situation…


#15

As others have noted, this sounds like a “lack of form” case. A current baptismal certificate will show baptism as well as marriage(s), and if the marriage isn’t on there, it is evidence he didn’t marry in Catholic form; i.e., the marriage is invalid.

As far as finding the certificate, do you know where he was born and grew up? I would start with the Churches in those areas.


#16

I know you know these things from your former job. I have to talk hypothetically because I’ve never been directly involved. If the husband received a dispensation I’m not sure where that would be recorded. It is interesting to talk about these cases but I think there’s too little info from the OP and too many ifs and buts that it’s very difficult to say what the answer is. It appears that many are jumping to the conclusion that this is a lack of form case. It might be. I’ve read the OP several times now. Perhaps I missing something obvious but I don’t think we can be 100% certain the husband was Catholic at the time of the marriage. If he was do we know the marriage wasn’t according to canonical form. I think that can be inferred but I think facts matter more than inferrence. If he was Catholic and bound to canonical form do we know he wasn’t dispensed from it? I don’t think lack of form is difficult to prove. I just think we don’t have the facts in this case to say with any certainty that it is a lack of form. The lady needs to talk to a priest.


#17

The dispensation is received from the diocese and the person is informed. After the wedding, the Catholic reports that the wedding took place (usually by presenting the copy of the certificate they got with their license and which is filled out by the officiant). It’s then recorded in the Marriage Register with a notation of the dispensation and in the Baptism Register. The information is forwarded to the diocese and to the parish of Baptism if that wasn’t the parish where the marriage was recorded.


#18

Thank you for the info, interesting.


#19

[quote="Matthew_Holford, post:16, topic:301262"]
If the husband received a dispensation I'm not sure where that would be recorded.

[/quote]

If the husband received a dispensation from form and permission for mixed marriage, it will be in the premarital investigation file in th parish in which they did marriag prep. The priest is required to keep the file until at least one party is deceased. So, forever basically.

The marriage itself would have been recorded in the marriage section of the sacramental register in the parish in which they married (even if they married in non-Catholic ceremony) and notification sent to the baptismal parish where it would be notated on the baptismal record.

The OP would remember if she did marriage prep with a Catholic priest, I would presume, and could start by contacting that parish/priest. However, it seems unlikely that this occurred, which would mean the OP's spouse married with lack of form. In that case, it is up to her to prove he was Catholic. This could be difficult if he will not cooperate and she cannot locate proof of his baptism.

So, if she is completely unable to prove he is Catholic, then she would have to go another route-- a full tribunal case for nullity or dissolution of the bond under an appropriate privilege.


#20

[quote="1ke, post:19, topic:301262"]
If the husband received a dispensation from form and permission for mixed marriage, it will be in the premarital investigation file in th parish in which they did marriag prep. The priest is required to keep the file until at least one party is deceased. So, forever basically.

[/quote]

:doh2:

I forgot about the marriage prep files!

The OP would remember if she did marriage prep with a Catholic priest, I would presume, and could start by contacting that parish/priest. However, it seems unlikely that this occurred, which would mean the OP's spouse married with lack of form. In that case, it is up to her to prove he was Catholic.

Right. Now... would his most recent parish have any information? If, at the time that he registered there, he said "I'm a baptized Catholic", would they tend to just leave it at that, or would they likely have a notation as to when and where?


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