What is an annulment?

“Annulment” is an unfortunate word that is sometimes used to refer to a Catholic “declaration of nullity.” Actually, nothing is made null through the process. Rather, a Church tribunal (a Catholic Church court) declares that a marriage thought to be valid according to Church law actually fell short of at least one of the essential elements required for a binding union.

For a Catholic marriage to be valid, it is required that:

(1) the spouses are free to marry

(2) they are capable of giving their consent to marry

(3) they freely exchange their consent

(4) in consenting to marry, they have the intention to marry for life, to be faithful to one another and be open to children

(5) they intend the good of each other

(6) their consent is given in the presence of two witnesses and before a properly authorized Church minister. Exceptions to the last requirement must be approved by Church authority

Frequently Asked Questions about the Annulment Process


To begin the annulment process at Saint Theresa Catholic Church, please contact the parish office to speak to a priest.