If you’re Catholic, getting an annulment is now easier

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Family Law on Friday, September 25, 2015.

For many years, getting an annulment has been expensive and time consuming for Catholics. However, thanks to new changes by Pope Francis, the process is going to be streamlined and faster. It’s also going to cost a lot less. This is a huge reform, and the three main points are as follows:

— In the past, a cleric had to do a second review, but this is no longer needed.

— Bishops have not been allowed to give out annulments before, but they now can in the right situation. Examples include marriages in which an affair has occurred and those in which one spouse has abused the other.

— The high costs of the past are also gone. The Pope even went so far as to say it should be free to get an annulment. A small administrative fee will still be required, but that’s all.

Though these changes were announced on a Tuesday in early September, it’s worth noting that they have not gone into effect yet. They won’t really become official until Dec. 8. The Pope has said the next year will be a “Year of Mercy,” and these changes will be a way to kick that year off.

One of the problems that the Pope has had with the process in the past is that it traps people in marriages. In his own words, he said they’d often “give up” when it cost thousands of dollars and took years to complete, and he wanted to do away with that.

Though this is an important change to Catholic law, be sure you also know the legal steps that have to be taken in Florida to comply with state laws.

Source: WHOTV, “Pope Francis Reforms Annulment Process for Divorced Catholics,” Sep. 08, 2015