What marriage situations would confirm an annulment?

I was just wondering how does an annulment work and on what grounds can one be confirmed, also on what grounds can an annulment be rejected?

Also in a situation where one marries a divorced one, how does one get forgiveness and does it mean that their marriage would have to be made void?

It’s my understanding an annulment is different than a divorce in that an annulment declares a “marriage” invalid from the beginning. Divorce is declaring marriages…both invalid and valid, finished. Catholics don’t believe in divorce, or aren’t supposed to.

For example, if 2 Catholics get married but not in the Church, that is possible grounds for an annulment. If someone is married to 2 people at the same time…bigamy…naturally can be annuled, invalid.

If 2 family members are married, that’s invalid.

If there was some kind of deception where something was deliberately withheld from the person, that might be grounds for annulment.

Surely, if people are underaged, that is grounds for annulment.

If a homosexual gets married, I would suspect that could later be annuled, since it was also never valid to begin with.

If someone in the couple refuses to have children, I believe that is grounds for annulment.

I’m sure the list goes on, but those are a few examples I think I’ve heard of.

I think if a person marries someone that’s never been baptized, can’t he also apply for annulment?

“Annulment” is a colloquial term for what is canonically called a “declaration of nullity”. Using the official term more clearly describes what happens in the process: it is a finding of fact, not a dissolution of the bond.

Catholics believe divorce exists, we just believe that it is typically a grave sin. It can be used to separate couples who are abusive or for the just distribution of goods after a failed marriage. It is also a required prerequisite before a declaration of nullity can be pursued in a tribunal.

For example, if 2 Catholics get married but not in the Church, that is possible grounds for an annulment. If someone is married to 2 people at the same time…bigamy…naturally can be annuled, invalid.

A tribunal decision is not typically needed for a marriage outside the Church involving at least one Catholic (it doesn’t have to be both of them to fall under the requirement for canonical form.) Also, permission from the ordinary can be obtained for lack of canonical form, so this is not always an impediment.

In the case of bigamy, the second wedding to take place is clearly invalid, pending a finding that the first was valid.

If 2 family members are married, that’s invalid.

It’s more complicated than that.

Can. 1091 §1 Marriage is invalid between those related by consanguinity in all degrees of the direct line, whether ascending or descending, legitimate or natural.

§2 In the collateral line, it is invalid up to the fourth degree inclusive.

§3 The impediment of consanguinity is not multiplied.

§4 A marriage is never to be permitted if a doubt exists as to whether the parties are related by consanguinity in any degree of the direct line, or in the second degree of the collateral line.

Can. 1092 Affinity in any degree of the direct line invalidates marriage.

Surely, if people are underaged, that is grounds for annulment.

“Underage” means a different thing in the Church than it does civilly :-

Can. 1083 §1 A man cannot validly enter marriage before the completion of his sixteenth year of age, nor a woman before the completion of her fourteenth year.

§2 The Episcopal Conference may establish a higher age for the lawful celebration of marriage.

If a homosexual gets married, I would suspect that could later be annuled, since it was also never valid to begin with.

A homosexual man can validly marry a woman and vice versa. What you mean is if two men or two women attempt marriage. I have doubt that a full tribunal procedure will be necessary in these cases, but homosexual “marriage” won’t happen in the Catholic Church anyway.

I think if a person marries someone that’s never been baptized, can’t he also apply for annulment?

If two unbaptized people contract a natural marriage and one is later baptized into the Church then the Pauline privilege can dissolve this valid marriage. It is not a declaration of nullity, it is a dissolution of the bond.

The Petrine privilege can also dissolve a valid, natural marriage; it is a decision reserved to the Holy See.

Nothing except death can dissolve a valid, sacramental, consummated marriage.

A marriage not consummated may be annuled. That is my case.

This should help you:

Insufficient use of reason (Canon 1095, 10)
You or your spouse did not know what was happening during the marriage ceremony because of insanity, mental illness, or a lack of consciousness.

Grave lack of discretionary judgment concerning essential matrimonial rights and duties (Canon 1095, 20)
You or your spouse was affected by some serious circumstances or factors that made you unable to judge or evaluate either the decision to marry or the ability to create a true marital relationship.

Psychic-natured incapacity to assume marital obligations (Canon 1095, 30)
You or your spouse, at the time of consent, was unable to fulfill the obligations of marriage because of a serious psychological disorder or other condition.

Ignorance about the nature of marriage (Canon 1096, sec. 1)
You or your spouse did not know that marriage is a permanent relationship between a man and a woman ordered toward the procreation of offspring by means of some sexual cooperation.

Error of person (Canon 1097, sec. 1) Reasons for Marriage Annulment
You or your spouse intended to marry a specific individual who was not the individual with whom marriage was celebrated. (For example, mail order brides; otherwise, this rarely occurs in the United States.)

Error about a quality of a person (Canon 1097, sec. 2)
You or your spouse intended to marry someone who either possessed or did not possess a certain quality, e.g., social status, marital status, education, religious conviction, freedom from disease, or arrest record. That quality must have been directly and principally intended.

Fraud (Canon 1098) Reasons for Marriage Annulment
You or your spouse was intentionally deceived about the presence or absence of a quality in the other. The reason for this deception was to obtain consent to marriage.

Total willful exclusion of marriage (Canon 1101, sec. 2)
You or your spouse did not intend to contract marriage as the law of the Catholic Church understands marriage. Rather, the ceremony was observed solely as a means of obtaining something other than marriage itself, e.g., to obtain legal status in the country or to legitimize a child.

Willful exclusion of children (Canon 1101, sec. 2)
You or your spouse married intending, either explicitly or implicitly, to deny the other’s right to sexual acts open to procreation.

Willful exclusion of marital fidelity (Canon 1101, 12)
You or your spouse married intending, either explicitly or implicitly, not to remain faithful.

Willful exclusion of marital permanence (Canon 1101, sec. 2)
You or your spouse married intending, either explicitly or implicitly, not to create a permanent relationship, retaining an option to divorce.

Future condition (Canon 1102, sec. 2)
You or your spouse attached a future condition to your decision to marry, e.g., you will complete your education, your income will be at a certain level, you will remain in this area.

Past condition (Canon 1102, sec. 2)R
You or your spouse attached a past condition so your decision to marry and that condition did not exist; e.g., I will marry you provided that you have never been married before, I will marry you provided that you have graduated from college.

Present condition (Canon 1102, sec. 2)
You or your spouse attached a present condition to your decision to marry and that condition did not exist, e.g., I will marry you provided you don’t have any debt.

Force (Canon 1103)
You or your spouse married because of an external physical or moral force that you could not resist.

Fear (1103)
You or your spouse chose to marry because of fear that was grave and inescapable and was caused by an outside source.

Error regarding marital unity that determined the will (1099)
You or your spouse married believing that marriage was not necessarily an exclusive relationship.

Error regarding marital indissolubility that determined the will (Canon 1099)
You or your spouse married believing that civil law had the power to dissolve marriage and that remarriage was acceptable after civil divorce.

Error regarding marital sacramental dignity that determined the will (Canon 1099)
You and your spouse married believing that marriage is not a religious or sacred relationship but merely a civil contract or arrangement.

Lack of new consent during convalidation (Canons 1157,1160)
After your civil marriage, you and your spouse participated in a Catholic ceremony and you or your spouse believed that (1) you were already married, (2) the Catholic ceremony was merely a blessing, and (3) the consent given during. the Catholic ceremony had no real effect.

More here: eaandfaith.blogspot.com/2006/03/marriage-annulment-grounds-in-catholic.html?m=1

Correction, a marriage that has not been consummated can be dissolved. Similarly, IIRC, a marriage between two unbaptized persons, and one later converts, that marriage too could be dissolved.

Consummation solidifies a valid marriage, making it indissoluble.

And in regard to annulments:

A divorce claims a marriage is over,
An annulment claims the marriage never was.

Scripturally,
Jesus says that if a married person divorces and marries another commits adultery (unless there is some kind of impediment).

Essentially, the process of obtaining an annulment involves an investigation into the events of the relationship to see if the elements necessary for a valid marriage were, or were not, in place. This investigation involves looking into witness testimony to get different points of view of how the couple’s relationship was and correlate their stories with the couple’s account. If reasonable evidence is found for an impediment, then the declaration of nullity is given and both persons are free to marry. This process of investigation can last for years in some cases, if evidence is difficult to find.

If a declaration of nullity is rejected (ie. it is determined that their marriage is still considered valid), I believe that if new evidence arises, the couple (or at least one party) can file again for an annulment.

Well in my case, the person I married did not want to consummate the marriage, did not want to have children, verbal, physical abuse etc etc… My confessor told me to go to the Archdiocese for advice. They advice me I can have it annulled 2 ways. The first option was through Psychological or Psychiatric which will be done locally and the second option was to send it to Rome which I guess will be dissolved by the Pope. They told me both ways are valid. A person who does not consummate a marriage is also a psychiatric case.

That’s a different situation than what I was thinking of, but yes, an annulment can work in that case, but it wasn’t just the not consummating the marriage. There are perfectly valid couples who are validly married who decide to live in a Josephite Marriage where they promise to never have relations and it is perfectly acceptable by the Church.

Not sure what you mean here. Two men or two women getting married? INVALID

A gay person marrying a straight person? If the gay person does not reveal his/her sexual orientation, that could be the basis for a decree of nullity due to lack of free consent. The other person didn’t have the necessary information to freely decide whether or not to marry the gay person.

Thank you for your help in defining annulment. Are marriages outside the Church considered valid in Gods eyes?

It depends on what you mean.

As a rule, the marriage of two non-Catholics, whether baptized or unbaptized, is considered valid as long as there was no impediment such as a previous marriage or very close kinship. It doesn’t matter where they get married. The only exception I can think of is the marriage of Orthodox Christians who have to marry according to the rules of the Orthodox Church for it to be considered valid.

The marriage of a Catholic is regulated by the Church so they have to be married in the Church for the marriage to be valid. Because it’s a Church law, it can be dispensed, so often a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic will ask the bishop to dispense him/her from the form required by the Church. With a dispensation the Catholic can marry in a non-Catholic Church or even before a justice of the peace and it will be valid.

A marriage not consummated can be dissolved but not annulled.
What happens or does not happen after the marriage has taken place are not grounds for annulment. Grounds for annulment apply to matters prior to the marriage taking place.

Hello,

It could be either declared null or dissolved. The most obvious example I can think of would be a person who “married” but refused to have children. It was such a strong intention that he/she did not allow conjugal relations, period. The petitioner would have to decide which is easier to prove: no consummation or an intention contrary to the good of children. It could go either way and he/she is not required to seek one process or the other. See canons 1681 and 1700.2.

Also, I know what you are saying in your concluding remarks but I would put it differently. The grounds refer to the moment of consent. What comes before and after that moment is always relevant and helps discover and prove the nature of the marital consent.

Dan

In a case where permanent inability to have intercourse exists, a marriage is also not valid. Permanent sterility does not invalidate a marriage, because the only requirement is that the couple be OPEN to new life.

Permanent inability to have intercourse makes a marriage invalid because the nature of the relationship is fundamentally changed. The couple is really only able to live as brother and sister; they are not capable of becoming one flesh through the marital act.

If the intent not to have children was known prior to the marriage (but not known to the priest at the time) then that would be grounds for annulment. However, if prior to the marriage the intent was to have children but after the marriage happened one or both spouses decided they did not want children and refused to consummate the marriage that would be grounds for dissolution but not annulment.
Anything that happens after the marriage has taken place is not per se a ground for annulment but might be used to support something that was known prior to the marriage.

Hello,

Yes, the particular facts can be more aligned to one process or the other.

Again, the grounds refer to the moment of consent. Evidence of what the consent actually was can be found both before and after the wedding. Maybe we’re saying the same thing in different ways. I will offer a couple examples of what I mean. If a person claims to have been deceived by the other party (cf. canon 1098), a significant piece of proof that he/she was truly deceived about a quality that could seriously impact conjugal life is his/her reaction when the truth was discovered. Let’s say the deceit concerned the man–he was heavily involved in male prostitution before meeting the woman. When the woman finds out (after the wedding), she immediately leaves the home and seeks a divorce. Those actions support the claim that she was deceived and that her consent was not based on reality. If, on the other hand, she does not leave but tries to work through this disturbing information with counseling, etc., and it is after two years that she leaves the marriage, that does not support the allegation that her consent was based on deceit.

Or, take canon 1095.3. If a person claims that he is unable to assume a certain duty of marriage, his marital life must have been marked by his actually failing to fulfill that duty.

Thanks for your time.

Dan

It could be either annulled or dissolved. That is what the priest told me.

On another thread a few months ago we were assured that two people who are physically unable to have sex were not allowed to marry, because it was denying the able one of them their sexual rights. So is a Josephite marriage between two people who are capable of having sex but choose not to?

I am confused,

Jimmy Akin answers

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