Religious woman seeks annulment.


            Posted on Mar 8,2015

            Religious woman seeks annulment.

Q. In 2010 I was forced into marriage under threats and coercion. I was only 18 at the time. Once my "Ex"� got his Green card in 2012 he promptly filed for divorce. I did not contest the divorce because I was so afraid of him and this threats.

Since then, I have become stronger. I am a 22 year old, deeply religious woman. I do not want to be a divorced person. I want to undo my divorce and have our marriage annulled.

Is this something I can do? If so, how?

M.H. (Watertown)

A. Annulments are granted if, when you got married, you were too young, you were not mentally capable of agreeing to the marriage, if either you or your husband were impotent or had a venereal disease, or there was fraud, force, or duress. Even if you contested the divorce, it would have been very hard to prove duress or force.

Now, two years after the divorce, you'd have an even harder time getting the case reopened. And, to do so you'd need to prove your ex committed fraud on the court. That's an entirely different kettle of fish than proving you were defrauded.

You must know the court only granted a civil, not a religious, divorce. Insofar as I understand it, in the eyes of some religions, you did not sin when your husband got that civil divorce. That's because your church probably still considers you to be married, religiously speaking. So you would only sin if you marry again without first obtaining a religious annulment.

So if your religion permits a woman to get an annulment, go talk with your religious leader at your place of worship. Don't spend your money on what would probably be a failed attempt to un-do your civil divorce. Instead, pay a lawyer experienced in church law to gather the needed affidavits and make the appropriate claim in a petition for your religious annulment. Then your prayers will be answered.