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This room is for supportive and informative discussion about divorce and/or the annulment process. All posters must have been previously divorced or annulled.

Saint Eugene De Mazenod is patron of dysfunctional families & Saint Fabiola obtained a divorce from her first husband prior to devoting her life to charitable works.
Learn More: Saint Eugene De Mazenod and Saint Fabiola

I've been told that it's relatively easy to acquire if the reasons are valid and the documentation in order, so ... here's my question: Is it held a serious obstacle to sacramental marriage by prospective mates here? I mean, if someone's divorced without chance of annulment, that's one thing (and an unfortunate reality for some here, I'm sure) ... but if all that's required is a lack of form, is that still considered a significant impediment, or simply a formality? I tend to see it as obviously the latter, but am interested in how others perceive it.
Jul 14th new
I recently petitioned for a Lack of Form. I would describe the paperwork as simple. It is imperative to properly follow directions as incomplete paperwork may result in delays. One must be prepared to provide their baptismal, marriage and divorce certificates as copies will be made. My parish priest described it as more of an administration process when compared to the full investigational process. That does not diminish the fact that information will be verified and witnesses contacted. The process is fairly swift, but I contacted the Tribunal office when several weeks passed. The secretary explained that they are inundated with petitions, since there are many weddings during the summer months. I will likely receive a decision via mail in 6 to 8 weeks. Of course, this varies with each diocese and location. There is also no guarantee that one will receive a positive outcome.

It is my understanding that I may utilize Catholic Match as a means to learn and grow in my Faith and for friendship only. An individual that was previously married is not free to contract another marriage in the Catholic Church until the diocesan marriage tribunal determines that they are free to marry.
Jul 14th new
(quote) Nicole-1018166 said: There is also no guarantee that one will receive a positive outcome.

It is my understanding that I may utilize Catholic Match as a means to learn and grow in my Faith and for friendship only. An individual that was previously married is not free to contract another marriage in the Catholic Church until the diocesan marriage tribunal determines that they are free to marry.

Actually, in some cases, there is a guarantee, unless I'm mistaken. For example, if your spouse had been previously married in the Catholic Church and never received an annulment before the two of you were legally wed (perhaps during a period when you were both estranged from the Church), your marriage was never sacramental or binding in her eyes, and the Tribunal would have no ground to stand on in denying your petition.

While I certainly understand that one is not free to contract another marriage until the formalities have been attended to, are you saying that someone may not even pursue a courtship with the mutual understanding that a lack of form, as appropriate, would be pursued and in place well before the betrothal, marriage and consummation? That seems ... well, frankly, ridiculous.


Jul 15th new
If you qualify for Lack of Form why not just go ahead and get it processed then you can show as Annulled then there won't be any question.
Jul 15th new
(quote) Joseph-924851 said:

Actually, in some cases, there is a guarantee, unless I'm mistaken. For example, if your spouse had been previously married in the Catholic Church and never received an annulment before the two of you were legally wed (perhaps during a period when you were both estranged from the Church), your marriage was never sacramental or binding in her eyes, and the Tribunal would have no ground to stand on in denying your petition.

While I certainly understand that one is not free to contract another marriage until the formalities have been attended to, are you saying that someone may not even pursue a courtship with the mutual understanding that a lack of form, as appropriate, would be pursued and in place well before the betrothal, marriage and consummation? That seems ... well, frankly, ridiculous.


Great questions, Joseph. The following information can be located on the Institute Blog.

The CatholicMatch Terms of Use policy regarding divorced Catholics:

3. Registration Obligations

Please be aware that divorced members who are not free to marry in the Catholic Church are permitted to use CatholicMatch but not for romantic purposes. If this is your situation, we encourage you to contact your parish priest or diocesan marriage tribunal to determine if you are a candidate for the annulment process.

So it is laid out immediately that in order to date, one must be free to do so and must otherwise refrain from using the service for romantic purposes.

www.catholicmatch.com

For divorced men and women: It's important that you have been through the annulment process and have a decree of nullity that states you are not bound to your ex-spouse and you are free to date and marry. If you date without having taken this step, you are taking a great risk. You might fall in love and then decide to go through the process, but there are no guarantees you will receive a decree of nullity and that could spell disaster for you.

The other point to consider is the risk you take with your soul. The Church assumes all marriages are valid unless proven otherwise by the annulment process. If you don't give a tribunal the opportunity to determine whether or not you had a valid marriage bond, then you are considered married in the eyes of the Church, regardless of having a civil divorce decree. So it's important to make sure you are truly free to date in that sense.

Also, because you've endured the traumatic loss of your marriage, you need to make sure you are not dating with the intention of finding a cure for your hurt. You will find much healing as you go through the annulment process, but also, in attending mass and receiving the sacraments. These things will help your heart become truly free from attachments and baggage and ready to give to someone else.

www.catholicmatch.com

www.catholicmatch.com

www.catholicmatch.com

Unless youre eligible for a simple lack of form declaration, the results are by no means guaranteed.

Just because you apply for an annulment doesn't mean youll automatically get one. The Church believes that a validly contracted marriage is indissoluble.

www.catholicmatch.com

Jul 15th new
(quote) Nicole-1018166 said:

Unless you're eligible for a simple lack of form declaration, the results are by no means guaranteed.


The person in the situation I described above, though, is unquestionably eligible for a lack of form declaration. Thus, with all due respect, the rest of the quoted article seems off target and off topic. A marriage cannot have been truly binding if one of the parties was at the time of the marriage not able to validly contract a sacrament in the eyes of the Church because they were married to someone else.

My question is not about legalities and bureaucracy, which, though arguably necessary, are oftentimes tiresome. (Trust me: I'm educated a Catholic theologian, and am familiar with the various processes.) Instead, I'm asking about how potential life partners perceive it. Do people think, Oh, a lack of form [not an annulment, a lack of form] is no big deal. He or she is, for all intents and purposes, free to marry, because they just have to file some paperwork, or is it more, Hmm, he or she is married [even though in this case he or she really isn't, except in the most technical sense]; I'm steering clear.

To me, the latter thought process would be unnecessarily dogmatic, but perhaps that's the lay of the land.

Jul 15th new
(quote) Donna-83441 said: If you qualify for Lack of Form why not just go ahead and get it processed then you can show as Annulled then there won't be any question.

When circumstances permit, that's exactly what this person will do. But to say, essentially, "Our rules here at CM are so inflexible that a technicality prevents you from speaking to someone with an eye towards romance and permanency" seems, again, ridiculous and irritating.

Why not differentiate between, "Needs a lack of form" and "needs full annulment"? There's a huge difference, after all.

Jul 15th new
I'm confused by your post.. There is no difference between lack of form annulment and 'full' annulment in the end product.. They are both the end result, annulment..

CM's policy is to encourage relationships between members who are able to marry in the Church. Their disclaimer says those unable to marry in the Church are only to use the site for non-dating friendships.. Their mission has been to not only make this a dating site, but a site where Catholics can connect on all levels.. I have made more of the best lifelong women friends on here than I could ever have imagined..I have traveled all over the US attending CM events. When I had my painting business, I painted in 5 states because of people I met on CM. It's not just a dating site. There's way more to it than that.
Jul 15th new
When I was actively seeking on CM and in the process of annulment I made the updates to my annulment the opening line of my profile. That way men could see in a simple search that it was in process and what the progress was. People who want to get married in the church take the word 'annulment' very seriously. Yes they do.. A lot of people won't talk to you if you aren't annulled..
Jul 15th new
(quote) Joseph-924851 said:

The person in the situation I described above, though, is unquestionably eligible for a lack of form declaration. Thus, with all due respect, the rest of the quoted article seems off target and off topic. A marriage cannot have been truly binding if one of the parties was at the time of the marriage not able to validly contract a sacrament in the eyes of the Church because they were married to someone else.

My question is not about legalities and bureaucracy, which, though arguably necessary, are oftentimes tiresome. (Trust me: I'm educated a Catholic theologian, and am familiar with the various processes.) 

You do not have the authority to state that anyone is guaranteed an annulment. That decision is made by the Tribunal, not you or I. How would you feel if you implied that one was guaranteed nullity, only to learn later that the Tribunal rejected their petition, for whatever reason?

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