Woodbridge Family Law Firm: Changes to Catholic Annulment

Pope Francis’ Changes to Catholic Annulment

There are big changes happening in the Catholic Church! Pope Francis has decided to change the annulment process for Catholics. Previously, the Code of Cannon Law listed some very broad reasons to receive a Catholic Annulment and the process was quite lengthy and expensive. But beginning December 8, 2015 new regulations will go into effect giving Catholics an abbreviated process for obtaining an annulment.

First, there will no longer be an automatic appeal. Previously, two tribunals had to agree that the couple’s reasons were worthy of annulment. Now, when there are certain circumstances in place, an abbreviated process can be used where a bishop can grant a nullity of marriage. They include:

  1. When it is clear one or both parties lacked the faith to give full consent to a Catholic marriage;
  2. When the woman had an abortion to prevent procreation;
  3. When one party remains in an extramarital relationship at the time of the wedding or immediately afterward;
  4. When one party is hiding the knowledge of infidelity, a serious contagious disease, children from a previous union or a history of incarceration;
  5. When physical violence was used to extort consent for the marriage.

Another big change is the amount of the donation to the church when one asks for an annulment. Under the current system, the donation can be quite large. The total cost for an annulment can be in the neighborhood of $1,000. In the future, the Pope states that the amount of the donation should not matter or hinder a person from receiving an annulment. Pope Francis deeply believes in helping the poor of the world and feels a process that deals so closely with one of the church’s sacraments should be available to everyone.

Contact an Experienced New Jersey Family Law and Divorce Lawyer at Lyons & Associates

For more information regarding the changes to the Catholic Annulment process go to: http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-annulment-changes-stress-prompt-decisions-power-local-bishops.

At the law office of Lyons & Associates, we represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. For a private consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-575-9777.

Written By: Chris Ann Wright, Esq.