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Mary wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm writing because I would like to find out how to get an annulment.

I am very old and (may or) may not ever meet anyone to remarry but In case of a miracle I want to be ready. One web site said you have to have:

  1. a copy of your marriage certificate from the church you were married in, and
  2. a copy of your marriage license.

I don't know if marriage licenses are public record or not or if the First Christian church I was married in is even still there. I have never had a copy of either of these. I suppose my mother got my marriage certificate but it was not in her things at all — that was over 46 years ago.

  • Do I really have to have these copies?


  { How do I receive an annulment especially when I have neither a marriage certificate or license? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:


First go and speak to your parish priest or a priest you are comfortable with. They will be able to advise you on how to begin and whether or not you even need one.

As to your technical question: the Marriage certificate from your State is not hard to obtain. Go to your Town or City Hall and ask how to do it.

When you say you were married in the First Christian Church that indicates to me that you were not married in a Catholic Church.

  • Did you have a dispensation from the Catholic Church to be married there?
  • In other words, did you work with priest back then or did you just get married in the non-Catholic Church?

If it is the second of these and you are a Catholic, then chances are you do need an annulment but a much simpler process could be employed.

Again, make an appointment with a priest and have him help you figure it all out.

Fr. Jonathan

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