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How to annul a marriage by the Catholic Church: requirements and procedures

For the Catholic Church, the divorce does not exist because according to the Code of Canon Law of the Vatican, the “real and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power, nor by any cause other than death”, however it handles the concept of invalid or invalid marriage for different reasons, including lack of consent by both parties, the non-consummation of the same or one of the two parties was already married by the church.

And although it sounds like a difficult task, getting one marriage annulment or invalidation it is not so much; Especially after the reform made by Pope Francis in 2015 in which the process was simplified as a way to allow the faithful to live in holy communion and not under sin.

It may interest you: What are the requirements and costs for a divorce in Mexico City?

This is what you should know about the annulment of catholic marriage, what you need and the step by step of how to obtain it.

How to start the Catholic marriage annulment process?

The first thing you should do is submit a letter requesting the annulment of the marriage. This must be presented to the Ecclesiastical Court of your community. Be careful, this does not mean that by presenting the document the marriage is annulled, but that with it, the process to analyze the situation will begin and a ruling may be given. We leave you this site of the Archdiocese of Mexico to have more information.

The writing should be between 8 and 10 pages made by type or computer on letter-size sheets with margins. It is important to number and sign each of the sheets and put the date it was written at the end of the writing.

In addition to the writing, the following documents must be submitted in original and two simple copies:

1. Act of Ecclesiastical Marriage.

2. Baptism certificate of both parties updated with marginal note.

3. Certificate of civil marriage.

4. Act or Judgment of Civil Divorce.

5. Writings, letters or documents that can serve as proof of the cause. If they are manuscripts, they must be submitted, typewritten and legible.

6. List of 4 witnesses, full names, exact addresses (including zip code), phone numbers. The witnesses must be trustworthy people, who know the case, they can be relatives who have the facts, the closer the better. Witnesses should know the situation during the courtship and in the early stages of marriage.

7. Two photographs of the spouses, preferably from the wedding day, not to exceed letter size.

8. Copy of official identification and proof of address.

What are the causes to annul a religious marriage?

There are different grounds for the petition for annulment of a religious marriage to be filed and each of them must be ratified by the ecclesiastical court. These are the most common causes:

1. That one of the spouses has been previously married by the church having another marriage bond in force.

2. There were physical impediments to consummating the marriage

3. Some of the contracting parties lacked sufficient use of reason or did not give consent.

4. If any of the parties did not have the minimum age required by the Church. In the case of men it is 16 years old and for women it is 14 years old.

5. If one of the spouses married deceived by the other for a quality that he does not have and that seriously disrupts the marriage

6. If someone married out of fear, duress or without sufficient freedom.

7 If the ceremony took place in an unconsecrated place, the marriage may not be valid.

8 If either of the spouses was not baptized in the Catholic Church at the time of the marriage.

In addition, as strange as it may seem, this procedure does not require the consent of both parties. The process can be initiated by one of the spouses and depending on the situation, the judge may or may not call the other party to testify.

How long does the annulment of the Catholic marriage take?

With the 2015 reform promoted by Pope Francis, the marriage annulment process is estimated to take no more than 45 days.

Once the writing has been presented before the ecclesiastical court, it is necessary for a judge to analyze the causes and the testimonies of the witnesses to give a ruling.

If you need an appeal to the ruling, it will no longer be necessary to travel to the Vatican to request it, as it can now be done in the nearest Archdiocese, known as the “Metropolitan See”.

In addition, the reform establishes that the procedure is free but a fair payment to the court workers must be taken into consideration.

You can also read:

How many types of divorces are there in Mexico and what does each one consist of?

The reason a Catholic wedding celebrated in a garden or farm might not be valid

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