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Alexandra wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is it possible to speed up a marriage annulment?

I have read that it could take up to 18 months.

  • Can this happen any quicker?

We are getting married at the end of August 2014 but my husband-to-be has to have his previous marriage annulled to be able to marry me in the Church.

  • Is this feasible?
  • If yes, can we prepare for marriage at the same time as the annulment procedure is happening?

Many thanks in advance for your help.


  { Can we speed up the annulment so we can get married and do pre-Cana at the same time? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Alexandra —

Yes and No.

First, the No. No Catholic Church should give you a date in the calendar until the Annulment is finished. Therefore, if any priest indicated to you that August of 2014 was possible, that priest did you a disfavor. He should have said it is unpredictable.

On the other side of the equation, here are things that can speed up your annulment:

  • Contact your ex-spouse (if it is safe) and convince him or her to answer the things that the Tribunal sends — fully and promptly.
  • Get a Canon Lawyer or a knowledgeable priest to review everything you send to the Tribunal. This person will not tell you what to say but the person can focus you on things the Tribunal is looking for and thereby save you lots of time since the Tribunal will have to spend less time focusing you.
  • Call your witnesses and tell them three things:

    1. This is coming in the mail and it is very important to me, so please do it as thoroughly as possible.
    2. Could you do me a favor and do it as soon as you get it?
    3. I asked you to be a witness because . . . (i.e. you were the one who questioned my choice before I married.)

  • Respond quickly and accurately to everything the Tribunal sends you.
  • If the Tribunal does not assign you an advocate, ask for one and work with the advocate.
  • Don’t hide anything.
  • Don’t hold back.
  • Don’t try to go easy on your ex-spouse.
  • What the Tribunal is most looking for concerns the time of your marriage so concentrate on the courtship and the wedding.

Good luck.

Fr. Jonathan

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