1. Marital Status - For inquirers that are currently married, we will inquire into both the current marriage at the time the vows were made, as well as any prior failed marriages of either partner. This includes marriages that were witnessed by non-Catholic ministers (Justice of the Peace, other religious minister).
2. Divorce - Individuals or couples who have one or more prior unsuccessful marriages between them, and are currently re-married will have any past/current marriages reviewed to determine if an annulment or convalidation is required. If any annulments or convalidations are required, these must begin immediately, and must be completed satisfactorily prior to the Rite of Election.
3. Engaged - An engaged person seeking to become Catholic or complete their initiation must have both theirs, and their future partner's complete marital history reviewed. If there are any failed prior marriages between the currently engaged couple, each prior failed marriage must be resolved through the annulment process prior to the inquirer advancing to the Rite of Election.
Note: If a formal petition is required, this process could take at least a year or more to complete. Other forms of annulment usually take less time, depending on individual circumstances, and the timeliness of submitting all documents.
To learn more about the annulment process and different types of petitions, visit: http://www.archgh.org/Personnel/Tribunal/English/
It is not the intention of the Church to cause worry or burden, but to ensure the road to full initiation is clear of any impediments. If impediments are present, we are here to assist the individual/couple in whatever process is required, and to pray with them throughout their need.