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Ex wants annulment several years after divorce - should I be suspicious?

(150 Posts)
SansaryaAgain Sun 10-Dec-17 09:42:37

Ex-DH and I divorced amicably enough 8 years ago. He remarried some years ago and we lost touch.

He recently contacted me to say his wife is keen for us to "confirm our divorce" with the church, and shortly afterwards I got some paperwork from the church office. I told him I would look at it. I wasn't sure exactly what confirming our divorce involved but figured it couldn't be an annulment as we wouldn't be eligible for one.

However, it is an annulment he's after. He's claiming it on grounds of "severe mutual lack of judgement", which I find odd as we were both adults at the time we married. We drifted apart and realised we'd made a mistake, but I didn't think that was grounds for annulment!

Anyway what I'd really like to know is if we get the annulment, could he use it to argue that, as our marriage is void, the terms of our divorce are invalid and demand back the financial settlement I got? I know there are several solicitors on MN, so am hoping one can answer my question.

OP’s posts: |
Cakescakescakes Sun 10-Dec-17 09:45:16

Is he looking to get remarried in a church which doesn’t recognise civil divorce as opposed to a religious annulment?

sooperdooper Sun 10-Dec-17 09:45:32

Tell him to do one, you're divorced you can't just have an annulment because he wants one and it was 8 years ago

Just say no & ignore him, you don't have to get involved with whatever he's up to

NC4now Sun 10-Dec-17 09:46:45

Is he catholic? Was your marriage in a Catholic Church?

SisterMoonshine Sun 10-Dec-17 09:51:25

I bet it is about remarrying in a particular church, but you're right to be suspicious of any implications re divorce settlement.
I think don't do it.
You can't help it if he had severe lack of judgment.

tribpot Sun 10-Dec-17 09:51:56

From googling it seems like some Catholics might pursue a religious annulment after a civil divorce in order to remarry in church but he's already remarried confused

bumpertobumper Sun 10-Dec-17 09:52:26

Someone I know's ex asked for an annulment about 15 years after divorce from a marriage which produced 4 children. He wanted to get remarried in a Catholic Church. I don't know the full details but even though she objected it still went through hmm

reindeesandchristmastrees Sun 10-Dec-17 09:53:08

I'm not a family law solicitor nor am I catholic but you divorced in the Famiky court and the paperwork you've got is from the church - the church doesn't trump the courts so wouldn't take precedence of your settlement. Why don't you ask him? You say it is amicable so just ask him why he needs it and you'll probably find it is to enable him to get married in the church

sooperdooper Sun 10-Dec-17 09:54:30

The OP said he's already remarried, so it can't be about wanting to get married in a church

SansaryaAgain Sun 10-Dec-17 10:00:21

He isn't Catholic, but I am (well, very lapsed) and so is his wife. So it could be they want a church wedding, though after 5 years of (non-church) marriage and a child, it seems a bit strange.

I was feeling amicable towards this until I read his petition for annulment which pretty much makes it sound like I manipulated him into marrying me! So I'm not really keen to get in touch with him again, and may choose to go through the church tribunal.

He can get an annulment even if I refuse to take part in proceedings but I think he's on dodgy ground with his reasoning, unless he decides to claim he was mentally ill hmm

OP’s posts: |
NC4now Sun 10-Dec-17 10:01:25

Probably not about getting remarried but it might be about taking communion in RC church.
If you married in RC, divorce isn’t recognised. You need an anullment to be able to have your new marriage recognised in the church. It’s hard to explain, but if he’s a practicing Catholic and wants to take communion and have everything in order it might be necessary.
Are there DCs coming up for baptism or school admission? That sometimes prompts people to get everything in order.

NC4now Sun 10-Dec-17 10:02:37

Cross posted. Yes that would piss me off too.

SansaryaAgain Sun 10-Dec-17 10:38:34

The settlement question is the one that bothers me the most, as I invested the money and it's done quite well.

But it does also irk me that he's claiming he wasn't capable of judgement when we married - this is a highly educated man with a responsible professional job!

OP’s posts: |
lynmilne65 Sun 10-Dec-17 10:43:19

Why worry?

SansaryaAgain Sun 10-Dec-17 11:10:59

I'm worried in case he tries to get the settlement back! But I'm pretty sure civil law trumps church and besides, I have a feeling his reason for an annulment won't stand up to scrutiny.

OP’s posts: |
NC4now Sun 10-Dec-17 11:24:01

I’m pretty sure you’re right. Anyway, isn’t there a part of the marriage ceremony that declares you’re entering into it willingly or something? I can’t remember the exact wording.
Like you say, it’s unlikely to stand up to scrutiny.
If he was saying it wasn’t a RC marriage because it was in an Anglican Church or something, fair enough, but it seems strange grounds for an anullment.

Mattresstestermax Sun 10-Dec-17 11:31:46

A family friend had a Catholic Church “wedding” some time after her legal marriage. Her catholic husband was being refused communion as in the eyes of the church he was “living in sin”. They wanted the legal position tied up sooner, hence not waiting for the annulment paper work for the civil ceremony.

relaxitllbeok Sun 10-Dec-17 11:33:36

Just say no, you wish him well but this document isn't something you can in honesty sign. It sounds as though the document is a pack of lies, so no good could come of signing it, so I wouldn't engage with why he wants you to, if I were you.

Though, asking you to sounds like evidence of poor judgement on his side, so that part may be true!

DamnDeDoubtanceIsSpartacus Sun 10-Dec-17 11:35:18

Just don't do it, why would you?

Wishingandwaiting Sun 10-Dec-17 11:37:02

His intentions may be innocent (wants to get remarried in church) but the consequences will likely be that any settlement can be undone.

EvilRingahBitch Sun 10-Dec-17 11:38:54

If he’d put his cards on the table and asked you to bend the truth as a personal favour to help with his child’s confirmation/school entry then that would get my sympathy. But trying to slide it through under the radar is unattractive behaviour. I agree that you need complete certainty that this wouldn’t affect your divorce settlement and after that you can decide whether to cooperate.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 10-Dec-17 11:46:39

It’s all a load of bollocks but it won’t make any difference to you. Some people I know had to pay a lot of money to the Catholic Church to get her marriage (that produced a child) annulled so she could marry her ex-best friend’s husband (he wasn’t divorced or separated at the time they got together). All parties had to legally divorce too.

The annulment cost quite a bit due to the (adultery and child) complicated nature of the situation. The church must be coining it in hmm

However, you would be doing him a massive favour so if the wording makes you sound like a predatory harlot ask him to change it.

I would also check with your solicitor that there’s no legal implications for you but I’m sure there isn’t. The Catholic Church is not the State in the UK.

FinallyHere Sun 10-Dec-17 11:47:01

Hmmm, reminds me of a similar sounding story, oh yes, Henry VIII ended up breaking with Rome and founding the Church f England in uncannily similar circumstances


EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Sun 10-Dec-17 11:53:07

Is he trying to get their child into the local Catholic Primary by any chance?

Is the annulment paperwork you’ve received issued by the Vounty Court?

Otterseatpuffinsdontthey Sun 10-Dec-17 11:58:17

Lots of good advice from posters. I, personally, wouldn't sign this paperwork.
Footnote : think on Mick Jagger/Jerry Hall

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