Expert Answer Forum
Anullment QUESTION from John November 21, 2000 John-Paul,
I have a question about anullments. I have been legally divorced for over 5 years, but never had my marriage anulled. We are both Catholic and were married in the Church. My current partner is Catholic and would like for us to be married in the Church. I am sure that my ex-wife will make getting an anullment as difficult as possible. Is there any way to get an anullment without the consent of both parties?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 2, 2001 Dear Mr. John:
Consent is not required. The issue is whether your first marriage was a Sacramental Marriage or not. The Church will decide that based upon the evidence. It has nothing to do with consent.
If your ex-wife does not want the annulment to be granted she would have to prove that your marriage was indeed Sacramental.
The Church will contact her and ask her about your marriage with her. The Marriage Tribunal will then examine your statement and the statement of your witnesses, and will examine her statement and any witnesses on her behalf. Then the tribunal will make its decision.
She would have to prove that both of your lack any and all impediments to a valid Sacramental marriage. In many cases the reason for the marriage not being Sacramental is emotional immaturity. Frankly, it is rather easy to prove immaturity; it is a hard thing to prove maturity.
One little hint: if she reports that you were a rotten husband that can be proof of emotional immaturity and thus grounds FOR annulment.
You need to submit the paperwork for the annulment, and leave it to God and the Church. Whatever the outcome, God will be with you.
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