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Mitch Mover wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Can I have my long term marriage annulled and do I need my ex-spouse to participate so I may have a future marriage in the Church?

My marriage is about to end after 20 years of union. We had married in the Church and we were both Catholic.

About 5 years ago, my spouse openly walked out of the Church and claims to have left any semblance of belief in Christ or the Church. Infidelity was also involved, when she had a secret affair with a then minor child. Counseling and interventions were unable to repair the relationship, and I held a grudge (judgment) against her and the events.

I remain, what I believe to be, a devout Catholic and could perceive entering into marriage with a yet-to-be-found partner. I would desire to have such a union blessed by the Church.

  • Would I need my ex-spouse to consent to an annulment?
  • Would the divorce documents need to spell-out any reason for divorce, beyond the State's no-fault clause?

Mitch Mover

  { Can I have my lengthy marriage annulled and do I need my ex-spouse so I can marry in the future? }

Mike replied:

Dear Mitch,

Sorry, it took a while to get back to you.

In complex marital situations like yours, it would be imprudent for us to provide advice, seeing there are probably many nuances to the questions asked and the marital situation you are in.

Let me recommend two things:

  1. I admire your desire to stick to the faith as a devout Catholic and would encourage you to search around for a local pastor or priest who is known for his faithfulness to the Church. Make an appointment and get some direction and guidance from him; if you get a bad apple, search for another priest and ask the Lord to bring someone into your life who could help you in your current situation. If you aren't already, pray the Rosary and read the Scriptures, if possible, on a daily basis.

  2. Search our database; we have addressed questions that are very similar to yours when we had an on staff canon lawyer priest, Fr. Jonathan. Try searching on:

    "Fr. Jonathan replied:" marriage

    You can start your own search here:

I will keep you in my prayers,


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