What Is A Declaration of Nullity of A Marriage (Annulment)?

Unlike civil courts, in which an annulment means that a marriage never happened, a Declaration of Nullity of a Marriage in the Catholic Church means that the marriage was not a valid covenant. There are several reasons why a marriage may not have been a valid covenant even if it was a legal marriage according to civil courts. A declaration of marriage nullity or invalidity says nothing about property, inheritance or the legitimacy of children born of the legal marriage. It is only concerned with the validity of the marriage covenant.
For a marriage to be a valid covenant the two persons entering into marriage must be:

What Documents Do I Need to Introduce a Marriage Case?

Though there are slight variations by diocese and type of case in the forms used to open a marriage case, certain documents are commonly required prior to any case being accepted. They are:

Once your case is accepted, you may be asked to provide additional information, witness names and testimony.

Where Is My Application Sent?

There are several factors that are considered in determining a tribunal’s “competency” to hear a marriage case. Among them are: the location where the marriage took place (city & state); the petitioner’s (person seeking the decree of nullity) residence; and the respondent’s (former spouse) residence. Generally cases are heard in the diocese where the marriage took place.

How Much is This Going to Cost?

Cost varies by diocese and type of case. The diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana currently subsidizes 100% of the Tribunal Costs through contributions to the Fruitful Harvest Campaign.  Cost is never an obstacle to introducing or completing a marriage case. Diocesan Tribunals will work with petitioners to establish payment plans.

How Do I Begin?

Contact Mike O'Connell at 317-585-1264. All queries are kept confidential.  The parish also hosts annulment workshop evenings shortly after Christmas and Easter each year. 

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