Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington
ROMAN CATHOLIC
DIOCESE OF BURLINGTON
55 Joy Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403     802-658-6110
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Contact Staff

Judicial Vicar
Reverend Luke P. Austin, J.C.L


Tribunal Manager
Mrs. Katie Reis

Defender of the Bond 
Reverend Thomas Mattison

Defender of the Bond
Reverend John G. Feltz

Defender of the Bond
Reverend Msgr. John J. McDermott J.C.L.

Judge
Reverend Daniel J. Jordan, J.C.L.
Reverend Luke P. Austin, J.C.L
Reverend John Mahoney

WHAT IS A DECLARATION OF NULLITY?

A declaration of nullity is an official statement by the appropriate Tribunal of the Catholic Church that what appeared to be a marriage was, in fact, not a true marriage. What is often called an ‘annulment’ does not deny that a real relationship existed, nor does it imply that the relationship began with ill will or moral fault. It means that the relationship fell short of an essential element for a binding union. Unlike a civil divorce which breaks a civil marriage bond, an ‘annulment’ is a Church declaration that the union was invalid from the moment the couple exchanged consent.

 

ARE THERE ANY CIVIL EFFECTS TO A CHURCH ANNULMENT? WHAT ABOUT THE LEGITIMACY OF CHILDREN?

There are no civil effects from a Church annulment in the United States. Therefore, the annulment does not affect in any manner the custody of children, property rights, inheritance rights or names. These issues are under the jurisdiction of the civil courts. Children, as a fruit of love, are not made legitimate by a legal status. Rather, their existence as a gift from God transcends any notion of ‘legitimacy’.  

 

HOW DOES SOMEONE BEGIN THE PROCESS?

A packet with additional instructions and the forms to be completed are available in every parish in the Diocese. However, if for some particular reason, this would be especially difficult for you, please contact the Tribunal to make other arrangements. Of course, any questions concerning the annulment process can be directed to the Tribunal.

Physical Address:
55 Joy Drive - South Burlington, VT 05403
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Contact Numbers:
Telephone: 802-658-6110

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