Learn about the Annulment Process

Divorced Catholics who wish to remarry in the Church must first be granted a declaration of nullity, commonly referred to as an annulment. When an annulment is granted, a Church tribunal (a Catholic Church court), declares that the marriage was actually invalid according to Church Law. The marriage lacked at least one of the following essential elements required for a binding union.

The Essential Elements are:

  1. The spouses are free to marry
  2. They are capable of giving their consent to marry
  3. They freely exchange their consent
  4. In consenting to marry, they have the intention to marry for life, to be faithful to one another and be open to children
  5. They intend the good of each other
  6. Their consent is given in the presence of two witnesses and before a properly authorized Church minister

Frequently Asked Questions

I have heard the term “annulment” but I do not really know what it means. Help please!
For Your Marriage, a resource from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), published a great article on annulments.  It will give an overview of what one needs to know.  What is an annulment? Why does the Church require a divorced Catholic to obtain an annulment before remarrying in the Church?  What does the tribunal process involve, etc.?

How does one begin the annulment process?
Contact a priest or deacon at a local parish.  The priest or deacon will eventually refer you to the Diocesan Tribunal.

I’ve received an annulment and want to marry in the Church, now what?
Congratulations, please see our Marriage Formation page to learn more about the next steps in the journey of your love.

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