Frequently Asked Questions (Reprinted from the Diocese of Fort Worth website)
Most people recognize the commonly used term “annulment”; consequently, this term has been used in the following questions. However, the correct terminology is a “Declaration of Nullity” or a “Declaration of Invalidity”; this terminology has been used in the following answers.
Does an annulment mean that my marriage never existed?
No. While it is true that a civil annulment states that a marriage never existed, a Catholic Church’s Declaration of Invalidity does not dissolve a marriage or state that a marriage never existed. A Declaration of Invalidity states that specific factors prevented a couple from bringing about a valid and permanent marital bond.
Will an annulment make my children illegitimate?
No. A Catholic Church’s Declaration of Invalidity does not make children illegitimate. It has no civil effects on children and cannot be used to question a child’s paternity. It will not change the terms of a civil divorce, child custody, or child support.
If I am divorced but not remarried, can I receive Communion?
Yes. There is nothing to prevent a divorced Catholic who has not remarried from receiving the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Go to www.fwdioc.org, then click on “Pastoral Services” and then “Tribunal (Marriage Cases)” to learn more.