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:
- was never consummated;
- was not a sacramental marriage; or
- 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.
For Persons Seeking an Annulment
Please download Preparing the Application Form as a file on your computer, complete the form, print it out and bring it to the person in your parish designated to assist people with the nullity process. If you do not have the availability to do so, please see this same person from your parish for a copy of the form.
For Case Sponsors:
- Help for Case Sponsors (PDF)
- Case Sponsor Checklist (DOCx)
- Case Sponsor Observations (DOCx)
- Libellus [ DOCx | PDF ]
- Libellus Ald (DOCx)
Spanish Application Form – Call the Tribunal Office