Depending on the nature and grounds of the petition, a decision will be made by the Tribunal, or by the Diocesan Bishop, or by the Pope through one of his offices in Rome. An affirmative decision means that the petition has been granted. A negative decision means that it has not. Most affirmative and negative annulment decisions are appealed. If an appeal is required, no new marriage can take place until the appeal has been completed and two affirmative decisions have been given.
No one can promise or guarantee an affirmative decision before one is actually made. If a parish priest or deacon expresses the opinion that a person "has a case" or "should qualify" for an annulment or dissolution, that should be understood as an encouragement to petition or pursue a decision; but in no way is it a guarantee of favorable outcome. When the Tribunal says that a petition is accepted, it means that there is a reason to consider the request, but an annulment or dissolution is granted only if the requirements of proof are met.
For more information and further assistance, please contact the Tribunal office.
Office of Canonical Services and Tribunal
Diocesan Pastoral Center
PO Box 5147
701 Lawrenceville Road
Trenton, NJ 08638-0147
Rev. Msgr. James G. Innocenzi
Servicios de Canónico/ Tribunal
Judicial Vicar, Rev. Msgr. James G. Innocenzi
Personas que hablan español: Evelyn Aguiar, Nelida Agosto
Número de contacto: 609-406-7411
Each request is as unique as the persons who entered the marriage. While no one can be guaranteed an affirmative decision in advance, a person who thinks his or her marriage was defective from the beginning should be encouraged to request the study of that marriage. Many have already received justice through this process. At times people express the fear of reopening old wounds and hurts by going through a church process of nullity or dissolution. Yet the deeper self-understanding that can come from an honest and searching study of one's broken marriage can heal these wounds and hurts much more profoundly, and provide part of the solid foundation for a lasting and successful marriage in the future.