The marriage nullity process — commonly called the Catholic annulment process — may seem like a daunting one, especially since it does not follow the same process as a civil divorce. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming for you or your client! A bit of experienced guidance can make a world of difference. That’s why we started Catholic Annulment – Another Chance: to help bridge the gap of uncertainty when it comes to the annulment process.

Going through the annulment process is entirely different than going through civil divorce proceedings. Even if your client has already gone through a divorce, knowing those steps isn’t going to be of much assistance. However, when you and your client team up with someone experienced in the Catholic annulment process, we can help make the process run smoothly.

Working With Experienced Church Judges

Going through a divorce is stressful, no matter how well your client gets along with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. For some clients, it may make sense to initiate annulment proceedings while also working through the steps necessary for a divorce. Of course, it isn’t necessary to go through a divorce and an annulment concurrently. We can also help with the process if your client’s divorce has been finalized — even if it was finalized years ago. As a lawyer or mediator, you already know a lot of the information we will need to know for initiating an annulment investigation. Connect with us and we can provide a free consultation to provide you and your client with more details about how the annulment process will work given their circumstances.

If your client is interested in annulment proceedings, they are likely to have myriad questions about every step of the process. One of the most common questions we hear time and again is whether a civil divorce can help with getting an annulment. The two processes are entirely separate, but some of the documents and evidence gathered for a divorce case may also be helpful in providing support for an annulment. No matter where your client is in their divorce proceedings, we are happy to answer questions and to work with you in order to facilitate the annulment process with as little stress as possible.

Answering Common Legal Concerns

In our years of experience as church judges, we have come across several questions your clients may have about how an annulment will impact civil law and vice versa. Many people going through a divorce and/or annulment want to know the legal and spiritual impacts they face, and how one may affect the other. Some of those common legal concerns include:

Divorce and Excommunication

Getting a civil divorce does not automatically mean that a Catholic is “excommunicated” — i.e. unable to receive sacraments within the church. This is a misconception, and a civil divorce does not impact one’s ability to participate in the sacraments. However, a civil divorce does not automatically end a marriage in the eyes of the church, so participating in the sacrament of marriage within the church will not be an option without an annulment. Any further concerns along these lines can be discussed with us or with their priest.

Children and Annulment

Another common concern is that any children born during a marriage will be considered illegitimate after an annulment. This isn’t the case! An annulment is only concerned with the marriage in question and does not impact a child’s legitimacy. It’s also important to note that an annulment doesn’t impact legal arrangements regarding children, so an annulment is not going to affect child support or custody.

The other common belief is that, if a marriage resulted in children, it cannot be annulled. This is also not the case. One of the grounds for an annulment is an “openness to children,” but there are other grounds for an annulment as well. Having children in a marriage will not necessarily impact whether there are grounds for an annulment to be granted.

Length of Process

A common misconception is that it can take 3–5 years to go through an annulment and receive a decision. The length of time it takes to go through annulment proceedings will depend on each case individually, but the time needed generally doesn’t stretch into multiple years. The average time span is roughly 9–18 months from the date annulment proceedings are initiated to the final decision. However, some annulment situations can be resolved in as little as a month! The time will depend a lot on how much information can be provided up front — something the team at Catholic Annulment – Another Chance can help your client prepare, to minimize the time needed.

Spousal Agreement

Getting an ex-spouse’s agreement is not necessarily a concern for the annulment process the way it can be for a divorce. During the annulment proceedings, the ex-spouse will be notified and given the option to participate or not as they choose. However, the ex-spouse does not need to agree in order for an annulment to be granted. That will come down to the findings during the investigation portion of the process.

An Annulment Means Marriage Never Happened

This is often a point of confusion for many seeking an annulment. An annulment is both alike and dissimilar to a divorce in how it treats the ending of a marriage. An annulment is more than just a “Catholic divorce.” At the end of a civil divorce, the law recognizes that the union took place, but it is now over. When an annulment is granted, the church views that in a slightly different way. An annulment doesn’t erase the past; the marriage and the history are still known to have happened. However, an annulment finds that the sacrament of marriage — the essential spiritual component — was never present. The vows may have been spoken, but the sacrament was never present and in that sense, the marriage never took place.

This is why a divorce does not automatically grant a divorce, and vice versa. A divorce is concerned with civil law while an annulment investigates the spiritual element of a marriage. This is why it’s necessary for someone to receive an annulment before remarrying in the Catholic Church, and why an annulment does not automatically grant a divorce.

Seeking Annulment Help for Clients

If your client wants to seek an annulment in addition to a divorce, we can help. With our experience and your understanding of a client’s situation, we can provide guidance on how to initiate annulment proceedings and help make the annulment process as smooth and stress-free as possible. There will always be an emotional element to an annulment, but the team at Catholic Annulment – Another Chance is made up of current and former church judges who have the unique understanding to help your client navigate their annulment.

Do you have questions regarding a divorce client who is thinking about a Catholic annulment?

The marriage nullity process — commonly called the Catholic annulment process — may seem like a daunting one, especially since it does not follow the same process as a civil divorce. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming for you or your client! A bit of experienced guidance can make a world of difference. That’s why we started Catholic Annulment – Another Chance: to help bridge the gap of uncertainty when it comes to the annulment process.

Going through the annulment process is entirely different than going through civil divorce proceedings. Even if your client has already gone through a divorce, knowing those steps isn’t going to be of much assistance. However, when you and your client team up with someone experienced in the Catholic annulment process, we can help make the process run smoothly.

Working With Experienced Church Judges

Going through a divorce is stressful, no matter how well your client gets along with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. For some clients, it may make sense to initiate annulment proceedings while also working through the steps necessary for a divorce. Of course, it isn’t necessary to go through a divorce and an annulment concurrently. We can also help with the process if your client’s divorce has been finalized — even if it was finalized years ago. As a lawyer or mediator, you already know a lot of the information we will need to know for initiating an annulment investigation. Connect with us and we can provide a free consultation to provide you and your client with more details about how the annulment process will work given their circumstances.

If your client is interested in annulment proceedings, they are likely to have myriad questions about every step of the process. One of the most common questions we hear time and again is whether a civil divorce can help with getting an annulment. The two processes are entirely separate, but some of the documents and evidence gathered for a divorce case may also be helpful in providing support for an annulment. No matter where your client is in their divorce proceedings, we are happy to answer questions and to work with you in order to facilitate the annulment process with as little stress as possible.

Answering Common Legal Concerns

In our years of experience as church judges, we have come across several questions your clients may have about how an annulment will impact civil law and vice versa. Many people going through a divorce and/or annulment want to know the legal and spiritual impacts they face, and how one may affect the other. Some of those common legal concerns include:

Getting a civil divorce does not automatically mean that a Catholic is “excommunicated” — i.e. unable to receive sacraments within the church. This is a misconception, and a civil divorce does not impact one’s ability to participate in the sacraments. However, a civil divorce does not automatically end a marriage in the eyes of the church, so participating in the sacrament of marriage within the church will not be an option without an annulment. Any further concerns along these lines can be discussed with us or with their priest.

Another common concern is that any children born during a marriage will be considered illegitimate after an annulment. This isn’t the case! An annulment is only concerned with the marriage in question and does not impact a child’s legitimacy. It’s also important to note that an annulment doesn’t impact legal arrangements regarding children, so an annulment is not going to affect child support or custody.

The other common belief is that, if a marriage resulted in children, it cannot be annulled. This is also not the case. One of the grounds for an annulment is an “openness to children,” but there are other grounds for an annulment as well. Having children in a marriage will not necessarily impact whether there are grounds for an annulment to be granted.

A common misconception is that it can take 3–5 years to go through an annulment and receive a decision. The length of time it takes to go through annulment proceedings will depend on each case individually, but the time needed generally doesn’t stretch into multiple years. The average time span is roughly 9–18 months from the date annulment proceedings are initiated to the final decision. However, some annulment situations can be resolved in as little as a month! The time will depend a lot on how much information can be provided up front — something the team at Catholic Annulment – Another Chance can help your client prepare, to minimize the time needed.

Getting an ex-spouse’s agreement is not necessarily a concern for the annulment process the way it can be for a divorce. During the annulment proceedings, the ex-spouse will be notified and given the option to participate or not as they choose. However, the ex-spouse does not need to agree in order for an annulment to be granted. That will come down to the findings during the investigation portion of the process.

This is often a point of confusion for many seeking an annulment. An annulment is both alike and dissimilar to a divorce in how it treats the ending of a marriage. An annulment is more than just a “Catholic divorce.” At the end of a civil divorce, the law recognizes that the union took place, but it is now over. When an annulment is granted, the church views that in a slightly different way. An annulment doesn’t erase the past; the marriage and the history are still known to have happened. However, an annulment finds that the sacrament of marriage — the essential spiritual component — was never present. The vows may have been spoken, but the sacrament was never present and in that sense, the marriage never took place.

This is why a divorce does not automatically grant a divorce, and vice versa. A divorce is concerned with civil law while an annulment investigates the spiritual element of a marriage. This is why it’s necessary for someone to receive an annulment before remarrying in the Catholic Church, and why an annulment does not automatically grant a divorce.

Seeking Annulment Help for Clients

If your client wants to seek an annulment in addition to a divorce, we can help. With our experience and your understanding of a client’s situation, we can provide guidance on how to initiate annulment proceedings and help make the annulment process as smooth and stress-free as possible. There will always be an emotional element to an annulment, but the team at Catholic Annulment – Another Chance is made up of current and former church judges who have the unique understanding to help your client navigate their annulment.

As tribunal judges we’re here to answer questions for legal professionals. As family lawyers and divorce mediators you may have specific questions about a Catholic annulment relative to a particular client. Please do not hesitate to contact us by phone at:

Call Us Today: 888-927-0020


Also, if your client is interested in pursuing a church annulment, we hope you will refer your client to us for a FREE 30 minute consultation.

We look forward to being of service to you.

Useful Link

DivorceLinks.com – State and Federal Divorce Law Directory Center