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annullments
Question from rose on 11/3/2013:

Can a marriage of 13 years ago and divorce due to abuse be annulled?

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 12/29/2013:

Dear Rose,

A woman can get a church separation from a husband who abuses her. This separation can be backed up by a civil separation. You do not hear much about that today because abused women usually look for a civil divorce, which allows them to get married again. The Church allows separation but does not allow divorce allowing the woman to marry again. If, however, it can be proven before a church tribunal that the man was incapable in the first place of upholding the duties of marriage, the Church can grant an annulment, which says that although the marriage had all the appearances of a marriage, it was not a real marriage because the man did not have the capacity to respect a woman as he should. He might himself have been an abused child, thus lacking the example of how a man or woman should be treated. Then the woman or man (men can also be abused by their wives) can then remarry again if they get an annulment. Since the whole matter can get very complicated, the best think to do is to speak with a priest about it. That is the only way to judge the complicated matter of divorce and annulment.

Dr. Geraghty

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