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Amanda wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Divorced since 2006
  • Engaged since 2014
  • Not Catholic but my fiancé is and he wants to get married in a Catholic Church
  • Annulment got denied because witnesses did not respond

I have been divorced since 2006. I have been engaged since 2014 and I'm trying to get remarried in a Catholic Church. I applied for an annulment on March 2014 and to date it has not been cleared.

The problem is my ex- and I ended the marriage without blame on each other and decided we were both young when we got married.

  • He provided a witness list but no one responded.
  • I provided a witness list and only 1 person responded and I was informed by the diocese that without witnesses responding, the annulment will be denied.

I don't know where to turn at this point. Neither my ex- or I, can make someone respond to something. Just because they told us at the time that they would reply, doesn't mean they will after they receive the paperwork. When we ask, they tell us they don't want to get involved in something that was so long ago.

I am not Catholic nor is my ex-husband. My fiancé is Catholic and we want to get married in a Catholic Church however I'm not able to do that until my annulment gets approved.

My fiancé and I don't feel it's fair and are only option is for him to leave the Catholic Church in order for us to get married.

  • Do you have any suggestions?

Please help!!

Amanda

  { What should I do if no one responds to my witness list for my annulment? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Amanda,

It sounds frustrating. I also see the side the of the Tribunal though —

  • How are they supposed to grant something if there is no corroborating evidence?

I have three suggestions:

  1. Have you spoken with your advocate at the Tribunal?

    Sometimes you are speaking with Tribunal staff instead of the person the Tribunal has officially assigned to you as your advocate. Next time you call, ask to speak to your advocate. (If you don’t have one, it is your right to have one. Perhaps you should get a Canon Lawyer outside of that Tribunal)

  2. You need to speak again to the potential witnesses and tell them that this is important to you and that you need them to answer. If they won’t, then you need to find other witnesses that will help you.

  3. Ask your advocate if you can see a Court Expert. It may cost you something, but when there are no corroborative witnesses, then a Court Expert can possibly be that corroboration.

I hope this is helpful.

Fr. Jonathan

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