After 15 Years Of Marriage And Two Children, My Husband & I Were Divorced. He Now Wants Me To Sign Annulment Papers So He Can Re-marry In The Catholic Church. What Exactly Does Annulment Mean In This Case? Am I Saying Our Marriage Was Not Real?


7 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
What this means is that this marriage is no longer if you were never married to begin with. There will many consequences to you however. You will lose ALL of your rights as a married/divorced person. If you shared a home, you will have no legal right to it.  He/she can sell or lease it without your consent. When he/she passes away, you will have no right to any estate regardless if there is a marriage never happened. You do not have any succession rights. You will not have any right to file in the court to pay any maintenance support, etc., as only spouses are entitled, and you will no longer be a spouse or even an ex-spouse if your marriage was annulled.

Your children might even suffer some consequences to this, although they will have some rights, as your ex is a biological parent. They will be considered children of non-married parents. An annulment should not affect your children's succession rights.

I would definitely seek the advice of an attorney on this one. Be careful!! Good luck~
Vicki Kelly Profile
Vicki Kelly answered
The Canon Law (which is the equivalent of Civil Law....only within the Catholic Church)  sets certain criterea for a marriage to be a Sacrament and validated by the Catholic Church.   There are so may factors involved with this!!!   If you and your ex were never married in a Catholic Church with a priest, then the Catholic party needs to have a statement of "Lack of Form".  This means that the Catholic person should marry by a priest in a church.   If he doesn't, he didn't receive this sacrament and within the Canon Law, the Church doesn't  deem it valid.   (IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CIVIL LAW.  YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT CONSIDERED ILLEGITAMITE, AND IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH OWNERSHIP OF PROPERTY OR MARRITAL RIGHTS OF SUCCESSION!!!)  This is all done in the courts by civil law.  Canon law doesn't award children, property or anything of that type.  NOW>>>>If you were married by a priest in a church, then the paperwork is more extensive, but it is all on the Catholic person to do.  The Church recognizes that there are extenuating circumstances in marriages that would keep them from being Sacramental.  (i.e.  Forcing a bride to marry, marrying a person underage, being mentally incompetent to understand marriage. Etc.)  Then the process takes more time.   Either way it happens, your property and the awards given by the divorce decree are NOT AFFECTED!!!  Again, that is Civil Law!!   With annulments, the Church only deals with Canon Law!!!  Also, whether you sign or not, just means that the process may be delayed.  If the Catholic person has grounds, it is only a courtesy that you are contacted.  You don't have to agree to it.   But believe me, it is not automatically given to him, by any means.  It is reviewed, and re-reviewed.  There are advocates appointed for both parties to go before the tribunal.  Then when a decision comes down at the first level....the paperwork must go to a higher level to either agree or disagree with the first decsion.   It is complicated and extensive.  It is NOT taken lightly by the Church and it isn't the case that if you want get one.  But after reading the other comments to your question, I  understand how much misunderstanding there is regarding the annulment question.  Basically, this is an issue for the Catholic person.  We want to have the Sacraments ("gifts from God") given to us in our lifetime.  There are always "exceptions" to every rule.    Don't be afraid of this annulment.  It is probably the MOST misunderstood process in the whole world.   Not meant to punish anyone, but meant to bring the Catholic person some healing with their relationship to God, as defined bny the Faith.  I am an annulment companion.  I took extensive training on these issues so that I could work hand in hand with divorced partners to try to bring the Catholic person back into full communion with God.  Good Luck!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I don't know where some of the information is coming from.  An annulment in the Catholic Church, or more accurately , a Declaration of Invalidity, only applies to the Sacrament of Marriage.  The Civil portion - the legal portion, is not affected.  All legal rights are retained.  That is why a CIVIL divorce must occur first.  The children are still recognized as offspring of a civil union.  The annulment states that the marriage was not sacramental, and so is not binding.  It has no affect on the CIVIL Marriage and all of the civil laws applying thereto.
A person petitions for an annulment and if the tribunal agrees that AT THE TIME OF THE MARRIAGE it was not valid due to several reasons possible, then an annulment may be granted - both parties do not have to agree to it - however, the Vatican can be petitioned to reverse an annulment.  Rarely happens. If children exist and they are baptized, they are still Catholic and valid.   The process can take from 18 mos to several years depending on how long it takes the petitioner and witnesses to respond. Go to a CATHOLIC website to get more accurate information. There are annulment attorneys but, this is not a legal process at all - it is a religious process. One good explanation can be found at click on tribunal on the left and then read the Process to Determine Marital Status in the Catholic Church  .  Contact your parish priest for more information.  Annulments are granted to enable divorced Catholics to return to the Body of Christ and be in communion with their brethren.  Divorced catholics who have not remarried outside of the Catholic Church are free to accept and participate in Eucharist and other sacraments and be part of the community.  Catholics who have remarried without an annulment are in the state of adultery and must refrain from receiving the Body of Christ and defiling our savior.
thanked the writer.
Vicki Kelly
Vicki Kelly commented
Thanks Guest!
Like you, I have never seen so much mis-information regarding annulments etc. Your answer was very good and was true. I really hate it when someone gives a totally false answer to someone else. It is scarry.
Marlena Profile
Marlena answered
Don't do it if you in a way it make where you have nothing open your eyes he's trying to make it where are you and your children did not even exist if you do this he can claim that he never even knew you or your children you have together and no matter what they will have no rights if you do this
Ruth Ducary Profile
Ruth Ducary answered
Don't sign anything, the church will assign annulment papers if they deem them appropriate.  It would mean your marriage never happened, if you have children by this man they would not be recognized by the church.  He is asking so HE can be remarried in the church not for any benefit to YOU.  Let him have a civil ceremony or find a priest who will do a ceremony for him.  You have no responsibility to sign anything to say your marriage was not sanctified by the church because it was.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My aunt went though this. Priest,Nuns and her ex called her at all times claiming she was cheating on the marriage and such. The truth was he was married 6 times and the church didn't know that he decided to pick on her so he could marry a catholic woman. My aunt finally told the church the truth and said if they continue she would sue them. No more harrissing phone call. My advice don't do it. If the bum wants to remarry let him figure it out you are done with him.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Once married in Gods sight always married as long as both of you are alive. Second marriages are not in his devine will. That's why he stated in the marriage vow Till Death Do You part.

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