By FATHER MANUEL VIERA, O.F.M.
Nearly 70 people assisted recent workshops presented by the Diocese of Tucson Tribunal Office to better understand the steps needed to pursue a declaration of nullity of a marriage.
The declaration is more commonly and improperly known as an “annulment”. A declaration of nullity is a juridical process of the Church’s Court to establish whether a marriage can be considered not binding on the parties from the day of their wedding.
People seeking a declaration of nullity can obtain the required forms through their parish office or by calling the Tribunal office.
The petition must include the civil and Church marriage certificates, the divorce/dissolution decree and the baptismal certificates of both spouses. The person making the petition also needs to include the last known address of the former spouse.
The Tribunal of Tucson can adjudicate a petition only when one the following conditions are met: (1) that the marriage in question took place within the territory of the Diocese of Tucson; (2) that the responding party (the ex-spouse) lives within the territory of the diocese; (3) that the petitioning party lives in the territory of the diocese and the responding party is somewhere in the United States; (4) that the majority of the witnesses live within the territory of the diocese.
Divorced persons who wish to enter marriage in the Catholic Church must receive a declaration of nullity before a new wedding can be scheduled.
Divorced and remarried persons who wish to become members of the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA process), must receive a declaration of nullity before being received into the Church.
For more information, please call the tribunal office at 838-2500.