Catholic marriage nullity in Colombia refers to the declaration of invalidity of a Catholic religious marriage by the Catholic Church. It means that the marriage is considered null and void from its inception and is treated as if it never existed.
Causes of nullity of Catholic marriage:
The Catholic Church recognizes several grounds that can give rise to the nullity of marriage. Some of the common causes include:
Defect of consent: If one or both spouses did not provide free and full consent when contracting marriage, such as in cases of coercion, fear, essential mistake, incapacity to assume the duties of marriage, among others.
Inability to marry: If one or both spouses suffer from some impediment that makes them unable to marry validly, such as previous undissolved marriage, close kinship, lack of minimum age requirement, among others.
Simulation: If the spouses fraudulently or maliciously agree not to comply with the essential obligations of marriage, such as the procreation of children, fidelity or indissolubility.
The Catholic marriage nullity process in Colombia generally follows these steps
- Application: One or both spouses file an application for nullity with the appropriate ecclesiastical tribunal. The application must include a detailed description of the facts and evidence supporting the request for nullity.
- Investigation: The ecclesiastical tribunal initiates an investigation to gather evidence and testimony to support or refute the request for nullity. This may involve interviews, collection of documents and other relevant evidence.
- Evaluation: The ecclesiastical tribunal analyzes the evidence and testimony gathered to determine whether there is a sound basis for declaring the marriage null and void. The specific grounds for nullity invoked are also evaluated.
- Decision: The court issues a decision on the nullity of the marriage. If nullity is declared, a decree of nullity is issued which establishes that the marriage is invalid. If insufficient evidence of invalidity is found, the application may be rejected.
It is important to note that the process of annulment of a Catholic marriage in Colombia is an ecclesiastical process and is not related to civil divorce. Additionally, The assistance of lawyers specialized in canon law is not required, however, if the accompaniment of a lawyer is desired, only those who are attached to the Archdiocesan Tribunal are authorized.
Finally, the duration of the process can range from eighteen to twenty-four months.