One year after a divorce has been finalized, either spouse has the right to apply for a declaration of nullity. However, it should be clear that, just because one has the right to apply for a declaration of nullity, does not mean they have the right to have their marriage declared null. The tribunal’s final decision about whether the marriage is null is based on the evidence submitted by the parties in relation to the canonical grounds of nullity.
Some of the marital issues investigated by the tribunal when considering canonical grounds include, but are not limited to the following:
- Were both parties free to marry?
- Was either party pressured into getting married?
- Was either party previously married, but did not receive a declaration of nullity?
- Did each party intend to remain faithful throughout the marriage?
- Were both parties open to raising children?
- Did both parties intend marriage to be until death?
- Did either party lack the physical, emotional, and/or psychological ability to live out the consent given in marriage?
- Was either party profoundly irresponsible or gravely immature at the time of the wedding?
- Did either party suffer from serious mental illness?
- Did the marriage only last for a very short time?
- Did either party have deviant sexual practices?
- Did either party deceive the other about their identity?