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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Religious Annulment


Term Definition Religious Annulment - a decree from a religious body judging a marriage null and void.
Application in Divorce For a number of reasons, sometimes divorcing parties seek religious annulments.

In the eyes of the Catholic Church, marriage is an inviolate sacrament, so religious Catholics sometimes seek an ecclesiastical annulment -- a process by which the marriage is declare null and void and one which can take up to a year for an ecclesiastical court to rule upon.

In the eyes of the Church, an annulled marriage never really was, so the party who receives one may marry in the Church. Generally, if a marriage was never legally consummated, for instance when spouse was already married, the union is said to be void, or a nullity; that is, it never existed. By this route, in the eyes of the Church at least, the marriage is null and void.

The children of annulled marriage are legitimate, and their parents have the obligation of support.

Religious annulments and divorces must also be accompanied by civil annulments and divorces. A religious annulment generally follows actions in civil court.

See also Get; Annulment.

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