Religious Annulment vs. a Legal Annulment

Many people do not realize or understand the different between a religious annulment and a legal annulment. A legal annulment is based on a statute-based. In Ohio the statute lists out 6 possible ways you can get a marriage legally annulled.

A marriage may be legally annulled for any of the following causes existing at the time of the marriage:

(A) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was under the age at which persons may be joined in marriage as established by section 3101.01 of the Revised Code, unless after attaining such age such party cohabited with the other as husband or wife;

(B) That the former husband or wife of either party was living and the marriage with such former husband or wife was then and still is in force;

(C) That either party has been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent, unless such party after being restored to competency cohabited with the other as husband or wife;

(D) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, cohabited with the other as husband or wife;

(E) That the consent to the marriage of either party was obtained by force, unless such party afterwards cohabited with the other as husband or wife;

(F) That the marriage between the parties was never consummated although otherwise valid.

In order to get a civil or legal annulment one must file for one through the Courts just as you would for dissolution or a divorce.

In the Catholic Church an annulment is the declaration of nullity of a marriage. There are specific requirements that must be met to have a valid marriage. For a Catholic marriage to be valid, it is required that:

(1) The spouses are free to marry;

(2) They are capable of giving their consent to marry;

(3) They freely exchange their consent;

(4) In consenting to marry, they have the intention to marry for life, to be faithful to one another and be open to children;

(5) They intend the good of each other; and

(6) Their consent is given in the presence of two witnesses and before a properly authorized Church minister.

To obtain an annulment one must demonstrate that one of these essential elements were missing at the moment of consent. Determining this is a process that must be done through the Church, not through the Courts.

Please continue to visit our website or schedule a consultation should you desire to know more about an annulment, dissolution or divorce.

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