Uncooperative ex-spouse regarding annulment


#1

I have posted a different thread about rejoining the Catholic church. My husband was also in an invalid marriage...he is Protestant but was married to a baptized Catholic in a Lutheran church. This would be a lack of form case. The ex-spouse was born and baptized in Luxembourg so getting the certificate, if there is one, is difficult. She has been asked to provide statements from her and her mother but she refuses to cooperate and doesn't want to help us. From what I understand her issues are 1) she doesn't believe in the teachings of the catholic church. 2) she has issues with this having been her only marriage and it somehow being "wiped away" and the legitimacy of her children and 3) somehow she believes that it would make it more difficult for her if she ever wanted to rejoin the Catholic church. I've tried to explain #'s 2 and 3, but I cannot seem to get point across. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks for any help/advice.


#2

I don't have any expertise, but could your former husband produce his marriage records from the Lutheran Church where he was married before? Perhaps they also require a record of his first wife's Baptism? Even if they can't produce the document, maybe the pastor could verify that she was Catholic.


#3

[quote="auttiesvet, post:1, topic:326963"]
I have posted a different thread about rejoining the Catholic church. My husband was also in an invalid marriage...but she refuses to cooperate and doesn't want to help us.

[/quote]

The marriage tribunal has most likely encounter this many times. Speak to the advocate or priest at your parish. They can direct you on how to proceed or help you contact someone at the tribunal who will work with you.

Blessings to you as you work through this matter in search of Christ and His Church.


#4

I'm afraid I can't say anything on the specifics you are dealing with, but I know that it is possible to get an annulment even if the spouse doesn't cooperate. A friend of mine went through such a situation, and despite her husband's complete refusal to take part, the marriage was annulled.

Good luck and God bless.


#5

If the former spouse is completely uncooperative, you should speak to your advocate, who will speak to the Tribunal.

This is not uncommon, so it's really not too much to worry about. They're usually quite helpful if you're willing to listen.


#6

I take it that you have not been able to pinpoint where she lived in Luxembourg? Because if you had an idea of the city you (or your pastor) might be able to contact various parishes in the city to see if you can find the right one.

Not being able to prove she is Catholic changes the process from a 'lack of form' case to a full blown petition for a decree of nullity so it's not surprising that the OP really wants to find a certificate if she can.


#7

Actually we do know the name of the city and the hospital. In Luxembourg, the babies were baptized before they even left the hospital. I think the problem is that it was in 1956 so hopefully there are records. My hope that once she realizes the complexity of the full-blown annulment case, she will cooperate.


#8

[quote="auttiesvet, post:7, topic:326963"]
Actually we do know the name of the city and the hospital. In Luxembourg, the babies were baptized before they even left the hospital. I think the problem is that it was in 1956 so hopefully there are records. My hope that once she realizes the complexity of the full-blown annulment case, she will cooperate.

[/quote]

Baptisms that are done in the hospital still have to be recorded at a local parish. When I worked in the hospital it would also have been entered on the baby's chart but from working at my local parish I gather that's no longer the case.


#9

I would not worry too much about your husband's ex-"wife's" lack of cooperation in the annulment process. I have been told that sometimes the behavior of an uncooperative ex could be, in a way, a proof of personality disturbances etc. that might have been present before the wedding. If the petitioner had know about these problems, he or she might have called off the wedding. Don't worry about the baptismal certificate. It should not be difficult to get. You may need to send the request in French, or what ever language they speak, but this is common practice in our universal church. When I worked in our parish RE office, our children had baptismal certificates from all over the world.


#10

Thank you both, Marysann and Phemie. This is all very useful information. I appreciate your help and support.


#11

If the ex-wife is Catholic, and your husband a Protestant, would the marriage not be recognized in the first place if they never got a dispensation?


#12

[quote="Melchior, post:11, topic:326963"]
If the ex-wife is Catholic, and your husband a Protestant, would the marriage not be recognized in the first place if they never got a dispensation?

[/quote]

Only if he can prove she is Catholic. That is the problem, she is not cooperating with providing her Catholic baptismal records which are necessary to prove lack of form.

If he cannot prove she is a Catholic, then the marriage is presumed valid and would have to proceed through the full tribunal process.


#13

We married as Presbyterians, and he refused to cooperate after I converted and applied for annulment. My big problem was finding people who knew us before and at the time of our marriage. I was not in contact with anyone from 40 years ago. I managed to find two, but only one was of any use to the Tribunal.

I found the whole annulment very painful, having to rake up horrible events I had managed to get over with years of therapy, only to have it all raw and real again. I have my annulment, but have had to go through more therapy, my children are angry, and my ex resentful. I think it is an awful process. [edited]


#14

I just want to say thanks for everyone's support. I am writing with an update. After weeks of going back and forth, we finally have been able to get a copy of my husband's ex-spouse's baptismal certificate from Luxembourg. (Apparently her father had the original, and he was cooperative.) Although we have a long way to go, at least we have this situation resolved.


#15

[quote="auttiesvet, post:14, topic:326963"]
I just want to say thanks for everyone's support. I am writing with an update. After weeks of going back and forth, we finally have been able to get a copy of my husband's ex-spouse's baptismal certificate from Luxembourg. (Apparently her father had the original, and he was cooperative.) Although we have a long way to go, at least we have this situation resolved.

[/quote]

That is good news.


#16

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