The Catholic Church understands marriage to be a covenant established between a man and woman in which the essential obligations are unity and indissolubility. For those who have been baptized, a valid marriageis also a sacrament. Not all marriages are a sacrament, but all marriages (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, nonbeliever, etc.) are presumed to be valid. The good of all concerned (spouses, children,in-laws, society, the Church, etc.) demands this presumption.
However, in every presumption the opposite may be true. If sufficient evidence can be shown that an essential element was lacking at the very root of the marriage then the validity of the marriage becomes questionable and is open for investigation. This is when a marriage invalidity case (or the marriage annulment process ) takes place within a Catholic Tribunal.
Few things cause more misunderstandings, generate more confusion, or give rise to more questions, than the work of the Catholic Tribunals in marriage invalidity cases, or "marriage annulments." The booklet below gives answers to the most commonly-asked questions.
The list below outlines the process that takes place during a marriage invalidity case. Each link provides more information that may answer any further questions. At each step of this journey, open your heart to God as well through prayer. May you discover God’s deep love for you and the Lord’s healing touch.
Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire
153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
Fax: (603) 669-0377
© Diocese of Manchester