If the other spouse did not co-sign the petition, the tribunal will contact that spouse – the respondent – who has a right to be involved.In some cases the respondent does not wish to become involved; the case can still move forward.Marriage, also known as matrimony, is a sacrament in the Catholic Church; it is the union of one male to one female in order to come closer to God and is the appropriate venue in which to bear children.Marriage is a sacred covenant between each spouse with each other and with God.Published letters may be edited for length and clarity.Names and cities of letter writers may also be published.This "declaration" can only be made after one of the parties in a former marriage requests it, and only after a detailed study of the marriage has been carried out.The process of declaring a marriage bond to be 'null' examines the intention and understanding of both people at the time of their wedding to see if the necessary elements of a full and true marriage were present (i.e., permanence, fidelity, the ability for true companionship and love of the spouses, and openness to generating and educating children).
In order for the marriage to be considered a sacramental marriage, it must meet the following conditions: Prior to marriage, a couple will be required to undergo marriage preparation.
An annulment determines that at the time of marriage something was missing in the relationship preventing the marriage from being sacramental.
The Church makes no ruling on the civil legality of the marriage, but rather makes a determination whether or not the marriage is considered valid according to the laws of the Church. A declaration of nullity is a decision that is made by the Church, which acknowledges that a couple never established the sacred bond of marriage.
Why does the Church require a divorced Catholic to obtain a declaration of nullity before marrying in the Church?
In fidelity to Jesus’ teaching, the Church believes that marriage is a lifelong bond (see Matt 19:1-10); therefore, unless one’s spouse has died, the Church requires the divorced Catholic to obtain a declaration of nullity before marrying someone else.