What do Nullifications Cost?


I’m not really sure if it’s an annulment or a nullification, but you get the idea. After reading a small book that promised to tell me, I have no idea.

When I talk to the church next week are they going to say, “Ok, we’ll get it started. All we need is a check for $x,xxx”? When they do, will the request be for $50, $500, $5,000, $50,000? Gulp! :eek:

I’m pretty sure it’s not going to work, but I’m willing to try. I even have a plan B! :thumbsup:


It doesn’t work like that, at least not in my former archdiocese. In my now-husband’s case, he met with the priest and explained why he thought he qualified for an annulment. The priest gave us the information that needed to be submitted to the diocese for the tribunal’s review. My DH received a letter back from the tribunal granting the annulment, with a note mentioning that if he would like to make a donation to help defray the cost of the tribunal it would be appreciated. There was no fixed cost or recommended amount.


There is no such thing as annulment or nullification. :slight_smile:

To nullify means to make null what is not null. To annul basically means the same. The Church has no such power as to declare that a valid marriage wasn’t actually valid. The Church can dissolve an uncosummated marriage but can’t make it like it didn’t happen, and her tribunals can investigate marriages to find out whether they were validly contracted or not. If the marriage was not valid at the moment of contraction, the sentence does not alter reality: it only confirms it by officially declaring the marriage null. If the marriage was validly contracted the reality cannot be changed, either, and there will be no declaration of nullity.

Please understand that this is not pet-peeving about semantics. It’s a very, very important distinction. Way too many people are accusing us Catholics of having a real divorce under a different name.

As for the cost, it’s less than civil courts take (at least here) and the sums are not that big. If you’re not very affluent, you can always petition for it to be free of charge.


you could take the easy route and call your parish or diocese and ask the cost of a tribunal investigation of a marriage case. There is no such thing as an annulment. A decree of nullity–a legal finding that no valid marriage existed at the time of the contract–is issued stating the findings of the investigation. There is a cost attached to the conduct of that investigation, just as their is with any legal proceeding, regardless of the result. It may be waived in case of need.


Tribunal costs vary by diocese, so call and ask.


All of it depends on where you live, diocese-wise. But it isn’t cut-and-dried like that, where one whips out the old checkbook or Visa card. In fact, if you could not afford all or part of the fee, it would be waived or taken in payments.

Your “nullification” made me chuckle.:slight_smile: As others have explained, there really is no anullment, just a decree saying no valid marriage existed.


To give you an idea only how it varies, here are the tribunal web sites from my home state:

http://www.dioceseofjoliet.org/tribunal/docs/Declaration%20of%20Nullity%20Proceedings_FULL.pdf (I read an offering of $***by the petitioner- That’s a true bargain!)

http://www.archchicago.org/departments/tribunal/faq.shtm (Quesiton 37- A big gap between Chicago and Joliet, but compare this to the cost of a civil divorce.)

http://www.rockforddiocese.org//ministries/Tribunal.htm (Go about 7/8 of the way down to “Fees” another bargain, and better than the Archdiocese!)

http://www.cdop.org/files/cdop_documents/Declaration%20of%20Nullity%20Procedures.pdf (A good deal- not as good as Joliet or Rockford, better than the Archdiocese.)

http://www.diobelle.org/resources/Tribunal.htm (This is the second best deal in the state!)

So, as you can see, it can vary from diocese to diocese, even in the same state.


Exactly. The words ‘annul’ and ‘nullify’ are contradictions themselves. To make THAT WHICH IS to NEVER WAS.

In Christ - J.M.J.


In Louisville, KY, it’s around $350, and I was told by the Tribunal “advocate” that NO ONE is refused an annulment for lack of funds. Matter of fact, she told us at an informational meeting that hers was the only dept in the Archdiocese that continually takes a loss/operates in the negative.

No need for a Plan B … call the Tribunal in your Archdiocese. It can be a difficult process, but well worth it.



What it “costs” the diocese to process an application more than likely is 10 to 100 times the cost to you.

At larger parishes there may be priest or deacon who will help get you started with the paperwork and be able to answer basic questions like fees and payments and timing.


What is an annulment?

The word “annulment” is not actually used in the *Code of Canon Law, *and canon lawyers generally refer to **“declarations of matrimonial nullity” **when addressing this topic. In any event, an annulment is an official determination by an ecclesiastical tribunal that what appeared to be a valid marriage in the eyes of the Church was not.

An annulment is not a finding that the two former spouses never really loved each other, nor does it conclude that the divorce was more one side’s fault than the other’s, or that one party is a better Catholic than the other, and so on. It is only a determination of one or more of the following: that, at the time of the wedding, one or both parties to the marriage lacked sufficient capacity for marriage; that one or both parties failed to give their consent to marriage as the Church understands and proclaims it; and, in weddings involving at least one Catholic, that the parties violated the Church’s requirements of canonical form in getting married. In practical terms, after nullity is declared-if it is declared-the Catholic Church considers the parties of the impugned marriage free of the marriage bond that would have otherwise arisen.

I refer all those who are confused or concerned about this to Catholic.com for more information.

As for the OP’s original question, you have received some GREAT answers so remember…one thing at a time…and keep us up to date on what is going on! We are cheering you ON!


Thank you all for your answers - they were very helpful. In spite of my use of the word “nullification”, I do understand the concept now. I got hung up when I read the book “Annulments, What You Need to Know”, by Jimmy Akin. He does explain that portion very well.

OK, Wednesday night we start with our first meeting. I was going to say, “Wish us luck”, but maybe “Pray for us” would be more appropriate.

Thanks again!


Annulment, nullification, declaration of nullity, whatever – we know what you meant. Anyway, when I received mine, they said that I didn’t have to pay anything, but recommended a donation of $275. There might have been a fee to get things started; I don’t recall because this was a few years ago, but if so, it wasn’t much, maybe $25 or so.

Good luck and God bless.


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