Marriage is sacred. When two people stand up in front of God and their family and friends to take this solemn oath, it signifies a commitment and the beginning of a lifetime spent together. It proclaims to all who can hear that this man and this woman are now one, partners in everything.
What happens when the promises made at that ceremony never come to be? What can you do when your spouse refuses to perform his or her marital obligations? What rights do you have when you feel violated upon learning that your spouse lied to you about matters crucial to your marriage?
Depending on the circumstances regarding your marriage, you may be able to dissolve the marriage through an annulment. An annulment provides a way for a disgraced spouse to show that a true marriage never took place.
This is particularly beneficial for members of the Catholic Church, in which divorce can carry a sense of shame and dishonor.
A Maryland annulment in the Catholic Church does not ignore the fact that a marriage ceremony took place. It simply points out that the marriage was not valid from the beginning because it did not fulfill the following requirements set forth for a true Catholic marriage:
- A man and a woman who do not have any “impediments” that would prevent the marriage. (Examples of impediments include being underage, concealing an inability to have children, a previous un-dissolved marriage, etc.)
- Both partners freely consenting to the marriage (and to having children together).
- Following the correct wedding liturgy and form for conducting a marriage ceremony.
Getting a marriage annulled in the Catholic Church is a different process than getting a civil annulment or a divorce. For more information regarding your rights and options, you may want to request a consultation with an experienced Maryland family lawyer who can help you choose the best route. Call Nickelsporn & Lundin today at 800-875-9700.
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