Tribunal of the Catholic Church

Marriage breakdown is unique among life's experiences and is a process which spans years of one's life and is not just restricted to when parties separate. A decree of nullity (annulment) is a declaration by the Church that a marriage is not considered binding for life. This does not mean that the parties are free of the continuing obligations of the union such as the welfare of children. It does not deny that there was a wedding ceremony or erase the relationship that existed. Nor does it make any comment on any moral fault in the parties. An essential element was lacking in the consent of at least one of the parties and thus the union is not considered binding. The Tribunal is a Church court which makes these declarations.
 
The Church endeavours to reach out to the pain and hurt of a divorced person, while upholding the permanence of a valid marriage. By declaring invalid those marriages which fall below the minimum standards set by canon law, the Church protects the dignity of marriage for those couples who have a valid marriage. Whether a decree of nullity be issued or not, the decision should bring peace of mind to the parties who have been wondering or questioning whether the Church would regard the marriage in question as binding for life or not. A declaration can often help the divorced person who has remarried or is intending another marriage in the Catholic Church. It may also assist a divorced Catholic who is seeking clarification of his/her position for peace of conscience, or for reassurance in developing relationships in the future.


Address:
390 Albert Street
East Melbourne
VIC
3002

Telephone: 9639 4211
  www.cam.org.au/Tribunal