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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Legal > Annulment

Annulment Cost


How Much Does an Annulment Cost?

 
average costCatholic Annulment: $200-$1,000+high costCivil Annulment: $500-$5,000+
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There are two types of annulments: civil and church. A civil annulment is a court process that ends a marriage, but unlike a divorce a civil annulment declares the marriage invalid, as if it never happened. An ecclesiastical annulment (officially called a declaration of marriage nullity) from the Catholic church declares that the marriage no longer has any standing within the Catholic community, meaning the ex-spouses are free to marry again within the church; an ecclesiastical annulment does not say that the marriage never existed.

Typical costs:

  • Obtaining a civil annulment can cost $500-$5,000 or more, depending on whether both spouses agree on the annulment or if only one spouse is filing for annulment and the other spouse is difficult to find. For example, Nevada Divorce & Document Services[1] charges $500 plus a $325 court filing/handling fee ($825 total) for a joint petition annulment signed by both parties; or $700 plus the court fee of $325 and search and publication fees of $185 ($1,000 total) for a complaint annulment filed with only spouse's signature). New York attorney Jeffrey B. Peltz[2] quotes a legal fee of $1,200 for a simple annulment plus $343 for court fees ($1,543 total).
  • Fees for processing an ecclesiastic annulment from the Catholic Church vary from $200-$1,000, but average about $500-$600. Appealing an unfavorable annulment decision can double those costs. (If the person can't pay the fees, the church will make arrangements to reduce or defray the costs.) Typically, annulment fees are higher on the East Coast and in urban areas, and less expensive in the Midwest and South, according to Catholic.com[3] . For example, the Diocese of Saint Cloud[4] in Minnesota charges $500 for an ordinary annulment, with $100 due when the case is submitted and the remainder paid in monthly installments. The Diocese of Camden[5] in New Jersey charges a $100 filing fee, a $400 investigation fee and a $300 decision fee, or $800 total, and if an annulment decision is appealed to the Roman Rota, there is an $850 fee for the appeal plus a $200 preparation fee.
Related articles: Divorce, Attorney Fees

What should be included:
  • The specific grounds for a civil annulment vary by state, but typically they include things like bigamy, fraud, incest, being underage, impotence or if one or both people were unable to give their consent at the time of the marriage ceremony due to insanity or being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or another incapacitating substance. For example, the Utah State Courts[6] and the Minnesota Judicial Branch[7] list the annulment requirements for their states. Each state also has its own residency requirements for an annulment, similar to those for getting married. Many experts recommend hiring an attorney to guide the individual through the civil annulment process[8] .
  • Because the Catholic church considers a marriage covenant to be a lifetime commitment, the only way a legally divorced person can marry again within the Catholic church is to obtain an ecclesiastic annulment; an annulment can be requested even if the person does not wish to re-marry. Under Catholic law, an annulment is granted when from its beginning the union between the bride and groom lacked one or more of the essential elements of a Catholic marriage: permanence, exclusivity, openness and an interpersonal relationship. The Archdiocese of Mobile, AL, describes the possible reasons for a church annulment[9] .
  • A church annulment petition must be presented to the tribunal (the church court) in the Catholic diocese where the petitioner is living or where the marriage took place. The church requires that the former spouse be notified about the annulment petition and have the opportunity to respond. The annulment process typically takes about a year, but might be finished sooner if all necessary documents and witnesses are in order. The Archdiocese of New York describes the ecclesiastic annulment process[10] and the Diocese of Camden provides a glossary of terms[11] .
Shopping for an annulment:
  • For a civil annulment, search for a family law attorney through the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers[12] or search for legal resources by state through the American Bar Association[13] . Lawyers.com explains how to choose a family law attorney[14] .
  • The ecclesiastic annulment process typically starts at the local parish church, which will provide guidance and all necessary forms. The Diocese of Camden describes how to begin[15] the annulment process through the Catholic church.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Annulment
Amount: $80.00
Posted by: Keli Thompson in Salt lake city, UT.Posted: March 11th, 2013 05:03PM
We have only been married 5 months. We do not get a long... A lot of resentment and hate towards one another. Wondering how much it usually costs.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.fastnevadadivorce.com/annulment.html
  2.  www.aaalawyer.com/Area-of-law/Family-Law/Annulment.aspx
  3.  archive.catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9909fea2.asp
  4.  www.stcdio.org/offices/tribunal/annulments/annulment-faqs/80-how-much-does-the-annulmen...
  5.  www.camdendiocese.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=562&Itemid=389
  6.  www.utcourts.gov/howto/divorce/#annulment
  7.  www.mncourts.gov/selfhelp/?page=341
  8.  www.divorcelawfirms.com/annulment/marriage-annulment-process.htm
  9.  www.mobilearchdiocese.org/pages/mt_faq.cfm#6
  10.  www.archny.org/pastoral/faq---annulments/#5._What_is_the_Annulment_Procedure__
  11.  www.camdendiocese.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=560&Itemid=392
  12.  www.aaml.org/find-a-lawyer
  13.  apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm
  14.  family-law.lawyers.com/Family-Law-Meeting-with-a-Lawyer.html
  15.  www.camdendiocese.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=561&Itemid=387
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