No wedding date must be set until an affirmative decision has been rendered. The annulment process requires the following:
A) The petitioner contacts his/her parish priest or a Tribunal Staff Member in order to petition and begin the annulment procedure. Your parish priest can give you the correct annulment form or you can print it from this website. Please see “Annulment Forms”, to print off the correct form needed at the left of this page.
B) When there are ground(s) for a declaration of nullity, the Tribunal will contact both, the petitioner and the respondent.
C) Prior to the formal hearing you, the petitioner, must complete and return the witness list. Witnesses include 2-3 adult people who knew you prior to and during your marriage and can give us information about the marriage. At the time of the formal hearing you, the petitioner, must bring these witnesses in with you. A witness can be a brother, sister, parent, friend, co-worker, neighbor or a member of the wedding party. Witnesses should not all be relatives. We do not interview children of the marriage. At the formal hearing the petitioner and the witnesses will be questioned privately and information obtained in the interview will not be shared with anyone except the members of the Court.
D) If the petition comes to formal hearing the following will occur:
Please note that the decision will be rendered in a timely fashion and is not contingent on full payment of fee. If you have additional questions about annulment procedures, contact the Diocese of Saint Cloud Office of The Tribunal: (320) 251-6557
• Copies of the baptismal certificates of all Catholic parties involved.
• A copy of the civil marriage license.
• A copy of the church marriage certificate
• A copy of the divorce decree certified or signed by the Judge.
Neither is an annulment a statement that a marriage never existed civilly or in the Church. Rather, it is a determination that certain conditions were present at the time the marriage was entered that made it an invalid union according to Catholic Church teaching. The civil effects and recognition of that marriage remain intact and unchanged. An annulment is not a statement that the marriage was entered into in bad faith by either of the parties. It is not a statement of who caused the marriage to fail or who was most guilty for its failure. Those are certainly important questions for a person to ask. But they are not the questions a Tribunal must answer. The annulment process, in its most simple form, involves any person coming to the Church and asking to be heard. Information is gathered by us and in the end, we answer that person’s request: the marriage was invalid or valid according to the laws of the Church.
In certain circumstances, depending on the pastor you are in contact with, you may begin marriage preparation in hopes of eventually entering a new marriage. However, since the outcome is never certain, no date should be set, no invitations ordered, etc., until the declaration of nullity has been received and confirmed.
Divorced people, no matter what their religious affiliation, have a carefully protected right in this Church to ask the Church to determine whether or not their previous marriage was valid. If they are not of the Catholic faith, they seek this generally because they wish to remarry, and the intended spouse is a Catholic who wants the marriage to be recognized by the Catholic Church. We respect the vows of marriage of all people, no matter what their religious affiliation is. Members of the Catholic Church, however, are bound to have their marriage recognized by the Church. This is why members of other churches must often go through an annulment process before they can marry someone in the Catholic Church.