Catholic Weddings

Second marriage

I am freshly engaged and Catholic. I was married before Catholic and now divorced. My fiance is also Catholic and never been married. We have decided we are going to get married Catholic...has anyone been through an annulement? Did it go through? How long did it take? Just looking for some in sight on it other than from our priest. At this point we don't even know how to set a date if we have to wait up to 14 months! Ugh!

Re: Second marriage

  • edited December 2011
    I don't know much, but I think you can only get an annulment for certain conditions, such as abuse. Don't know if that helps.
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  • edited December 2011
    Your first step in wedding planning needs to be a meeting with your parish priest, asap.  You'll have to get the paperwork started to apply for a declaration of nullity, and he should be able to assist you and also give you an idea of how long it will take, etc.  You also may be able to get some information from your diocesan marriage tribunal, which is the church court that decides petitions for nullity.Personally, I would advise you against setting a date until the declaration of nullity actually comes through -- because not all petitions are granted....  But you definitely need to talk to your priest, as soon as possible.
  • ootmother2ootmother2
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    edited December 2011
    There's a good online guide if you want to look it over,Catholic - Annulment.com  It gives you a pretty good overview of what you will have to do and the timing.One point, though, they do say that their should be no second wedding planned at the time.  Don't know how current that is.Mine took less than 6 months but it was a pretty clear cut situation.Good luck!
  • VAtoCOVAtoCO
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    edited December 2011
    I agree with the PPs that your first step should be to meet with a priest. Most churches will not allow you to set a date until you have received your Decree of Nulity (if and when it is granted). I was previously married in the Catholic Church, and my FI is also Catholic. We knew that we wanted to get married, so I began persuing the annulment. We did not, however, get engaged until after I received my Decree of Nulity. It took 22 months for my Decree of Nulity to be granted and cost about $750. The process was relatively straightforward but very difficult emotionally.
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  • edited December 2011
    My H had to get an annulment for lack of form, but that's the short form, he had a JOP the first time.  It was pretty short and easy, cost about $50 and took less than 6 months.  My aunt and uncle were married in the church and decided to get an annullment when they got divorced.  I'm not sure what it cost, but it took about 2 years.Your ex will have to be contacted and interviewed.  At our church, they wouldn't begin talking to us about the wedding or a date until the annullment was complete.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977
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    edited December 2011
    it will take some time, but it is worth it to get it done properly.  yours will probably take up to two years, particularly since you were married in the Church the first time.  They are often faster and easier when it wasnt a Catholic wedding becuase in the eyes of the Church, the marriage was never valid to begin with.  Where you did have a valid marriage the first time, the process will most likely be lengthy. as much as you want to be married, please dont run out and have a civil ceremony then get a convalidation later, once the annulment comes through.
  • edited December 2011
    how long annulment takes varies. Do not set a date until the annulment comes thruGet the annulment then worry about planning the wedding. Your priest will give you a better idea of time lines as it varies I have relatives that have got then in 6 months and others took years.
  • edited December 2011
    I'm both familiar with the process and am currently going through this myself.  I was married in the church and am catholic, my ex was an unbaptized non religious person.  I have heard from a lot of people that up to 2 years is not uncommon, however, I started the process at the beginning of last November.   My advocate (Nun at my church), I have been able to go through the process fairly cleanly.   It was very emotionally trying... I would love to give you some more specific advice, however, I do not feel comfortable advertising it on the knot... feel free to email me at katiemarie319 at yahoo dot com I'm currently waiting on the final decree to come back... we're cutting it a little close for my nerves, but what walk of faith won't be tested?  I hope that you email me, I've got a few pointers that would really help.  Especially if your ex wants the annulment as well... timeline is particularly important because everything is communicated by mail and the quicker more completely you respond, the quicker things go. Hope to hear from you, katie
  • edited December 2011
    FH has gone thru this process...it took him almost 3 years for it to go thru.  FYI you are not supposed to set a date until it is complete...he is technically married so you are vowing to marry an already married man according to the church.  He needs to meet with his priest. and get this process going.
  • edited December 2011
    My FH was previously married in a non-Catholic church and he also has a child.  I am Catholic and have never been married.  The annulment took a total of 9 months, but I understand now that we were fortunate because it can take considerably longer.  Some factors I belive helped to expedite the process:  his ex-wife and his 4 witnesses (his 2 sets of parents) all live in the same city as us, were willing to help us, and were quick in getting the paperwork (and believe me, it's a lot) back to the church.  It also helped that our priest was a judge vicar for the diocese (one of the officers making the decision).  Trust me, it's a pain and can be very intrusive, but all worth it if getting married in the church is important to you.  I cried  a lot and came really close to saying forget it, but I'm glad now that we didn't.  Best of luck to you.  And the previous poster was right - you can't and shouldn't set a date until the annulment has been granted. 
  • edited December 2011
    My FI had to get one. He is not Catholic, neither was his ex, who is now re-married and has a child. They were married for 6 months and it was 8 years ago. According to Church law, a priest is not allowed to book a date for you unless both parties are free to marry in the Catholic Church. My FI's annulment only took 6 months, so we were very lucky. Average time is 9-14 months. It's expensive, too. My FI wasn't happy about it, it was invasive, and he couldn't understand why he had to do it. He did it, nonetheless, for me. He knew I could never get married outside the church. His ex-wife said she would do the paperwork, but never did. They'll contact the respondent twice and after that they move on, but it definitely takes longer if people don't cooperate. Good luck!!!!
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with everything that is posted here.  All I can say is that it is emotionally difficult and the uncertainty is one of the worst things about it.  If being Catholic and remaining in the Church is important to you, though, you really don't have much choice.  In some ways, you are lucky that you are the one who needs it, since you will be privy to all the info and have some control of the process.  My FI was the one who was married before and he was not Catholic, so the whole thing was pretty bizarre to him.The Priest is the best person to tell you what grounds you might have. You can't set a date, in my experience, until the annulment is done.  Sometimes, you even have to do follow-up stuff (additional counseling) to get the final decree or attend special pre cana for people with prior marriages.  It feels icky sometimes, but again, that's what you need to do if you really want to be in communion with the Church.  Everybody has to jump through hoops--you'll just need to jump through more.  IMO, it's worth it.I also agree that the best thing you can do to move things along is stay on top of your Priest, the tribunal, and the people sending stuff back (witnesses and your Ex).  The faster the paperwork moves, the faster it will be done.  Best of luck and congratulations on your engagement!
  • ZoolooZooloo
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    edited December 2011
    I made a point of getting an annulement right after my divorce in the event I ever wanted to marry again. My ex-husband was abusive, so the annulement went through with relative ease. How long it will take for you will depend on many factors, but it can take up to a year or even longer, so I suggest starting the process as soon as possible. Good luck!
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  • Calypso1977Calypso1977
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    edited December 2011
    I made a point of getting an annulement right after my divorce in the event I ever wanted to marry again.zooloo, this is ideal.  i'm surprised at how many catholics don't do this, even if annulments only took a couple of months.
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you for all the insight! I wish I would have gotten an annulement right after the divorce. I did talk to one preist in my old church before I was engaged but now I no longer live in the area so I have to start over freah. He actually knew about my FI and was pushing wedding preperation and I wasn't even engaged yet!?!? 
  • edited December 2011
    You should contact your priest pronto, to find out if you are likely to receive an annulment in your diocese. There are many reasons, not just adultery or abuse, that a marriage might be considered invalid. I would guess that you have to go through the premarital program at your church after the annulment, so don't delay.This is my husbands experience:1. He talked to his priest, who determined that the church would likely find the 1st marriage was not valid. 2. He filled out a lengthy questionnaire about his first marriage. The same questionnaire was sent to his ex, who refused participate. This had no affect on the decision.The questionnaire asked for witnesses, but none were ever contacted.3. He met with another priest from the diocese to make a deposition. The priest went over the info from the questionnaire and asked additional questions to determine if the marriage was invalid according to church teaching. Then he presented the deposition to the tribunal. 4. The decision letter was sent in the mail approx. 2 months after the steps above were complete. The ex also is sent a letter, whether or not they participated. 5. The diocese will suggest a donation (in a certain amount) should be made to cover the costs of the tribunal AFTER the decision is made. The entire process took about 6 months, but probably varies greatly between dioceses. It wasn't nearly as dreadful as we thought it would be. Everyone involved was helpful and kind. Good luck.
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