Filing a Petition

 Filing a Petition

The Church teaches that marriage, by its very nature, is permanent and indissoluble. Moreover, the indissolubility of a sacramental marriage (i.e., marriage between baptized persons) obtains a special firmness by virtue of the sacrament. Once consummated (i.e., after the spouses have had conjugal relations), a valid, sacramental marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power.




Furthermore, spouses have the duty and right to preserve conjugal living unless a legitimate cause excuses them. Diocesan authorities can grant permission for spouses to separate.




“Remarriage,” even after a legitimate separation and divorce, is generally not an option. Nevertheless, a divorced person may be able to enter into a new marriage, under certain circumstances, if it can be proven that the previous marriage:




a. was never consummated;
b. was not a sacramental marriage; or
c. was not valid.




Divorced persons who wish to be declared “free to marry” should contact their local Catholic parish for assistance in applying for a marriage investigation. Your parish will provide the appropriate forms and assist you in filing your case with the Tribunal.


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Fr. William P. Saunders, “Annulment: A Catholic Divorce?”


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