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Annulment: Legal vs Religious

Annulment:  Legal versus Religious – an important distinction

In the past  I wrote an article about annulment in each state:  Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  As I wrapped up the last article, I realized that I should discuss just one more point about annulment that applies to both states.  What is the legal annulment?  What is religious annulment?  And how do the two co-exist (or do they)?

A legal annulment is the process by which you petition the Court to rule that your marriage is invalid.  This process is available in both MA and NH.  As I have previously discussed, if the Court grants the annulment, there is no acknowledgment that the marriage occurred.  Rather, it is as if the marriage never happened.

A religious annulment is a process used within your faith, if it is available in your particular faith, to make it as if your marriage never happened. The end result is the same as the legal annulment, though the application of the ruling is different.  It applies to your marital status in your faith/religion only and not legally.

So what does this mean?   The bottom line is that a religious annulment and a legal annulment are two separate, distinct processes each with its own application. Each has its own process.  Each serves a different purpose. Each has its own standard to meet in order to obtain one.  One does not satisfy the requirements of the other.  Obtaining a legal annulment, for example, doesn’t guarantee that you will qualify for a religious annulment (and vice versa).

Do you have more questions on this  – or any other – topic?  Contact me HERE to discuss these issues in confidence further.


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