The Ecclesiastical Tribunal - Court of First Instance, of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, is dedicated to upholding the laws of the Church, as well as to protecting and vindicating the rights of all, according to the Spirit of the Gospel.
THE CATHOLIC ANNULMENT
(Declaration of Invalidity)
The Catholic Church views marriage as a covenant for life that cannot be severed. Some marriages, however, are entered into lacking the necessary maturity or full knowledge, ability and commitment to enter into a permanent union. Sometimes free will is hindered due to external pressures. A person has the right to petition the Tribunal to look at his/her previous marriage to determine whether it was a valid marriage according to the laws of the Church.
A declaration of invalidity states that the marriage bond was less than a covenant for life because it was lacking something from the very beginning. Either, or both parties, may have entered the marriage with good intentions, but lacked an essential element for a valid marriage. These elements are openness to children, honesty, maturity, free choice, motivation, emotional stability and/or capacity to establish a community to life and love according to the teachings of the Church.