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Tribunal

Provides justice for all persons who approach the Church's court system for a declaration of nullity (annulment) or other process.

The mission of the Metropolitan Tribunal is to provide justice for all persons who approach the Church's court system. This mission is fulfilled through the rendering of judgments concerning people's rights and obligations as well as their status in the Church. Such judgments seek to discern the truth about a matter and then initiate solutions that provide for justice based upon the law of the Scriptures, the Magisterial Teaching of the Church, and the Code of Canon Law.

English Brochure

Click image to download brochure.

Declaring a Marriage Null brochure

Application for A Declaration of Nullity (Annulment)

This is the required document that begins the formal process of reviewing a marriage.

Obtain a Petition for a Church Declaration of Nullity (annulment)

You are encouraged to save a copy of the form to your computer before you fill it out. You can type directly into this PDF form. Please mail completed form to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Tribunal.

Metropolitan Tribunal
P. O. Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0192

Ordinary and Briefer Processes

There are two types of nullity processes, the Ordinary Process and the Briefer Process. The difference between the processes is the length of time and procedural method. The majority of the cases will be completed through the Ordinary Process. Access the resources below to learn about each process. 

Ordinary Process: FAQs and Video

Briefer Process: FAQs and Video

Español Folleto

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Solicitud Para La Declaración de Nulidad Matrimonial (Anulación)

Este es la información que necesita para iniciar el proceso de declaración de nulidad matrimonial en el Tribunal Metropolitano de la Arquidiócesis de Milwaukee.

Obtenga una Solicitud para la Declaración de Nulidad Matrimonial (anulación)

Este formulario debe enviarse por correo al Tribunal Metropolitano:

Metropolitan Tribunal
P. O. Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0192

Procesos Ordinarios e Abreviados

Hay dos tipos de procesos de nulidad, el Proceso Ordinario y el Proceso Abreviado. La diferencia entre los procesos es la duración del tiempo y el método de procedimiento. La mayoría de los casos se completarán a través del Proceso Ordinario. Acceda a los recursos a continuación para conocer cada proceso.

Proceso Ordinario FAQs and Video

Proceso Abreviado FAQs and Video

Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus

On September 8, 2015, Pope Francis made various changes to the Declaration of Nullity process. Some changes affect the Ordinary Process and some establish requirements for a new “Briefer” process. The resource below answers frequently asked questions about these changes. 

Un recurso de preguntas frecuentes sobre el proceso de nulidad y el cambio reciente del Papa Francisco al proceso.

English | Espanol

 

Other Processes

Learn more about resources and assistance in regard to marital separation, Due Process, and trials according to Canon Law.

When Mom & Dad Break Up

A brochure to explain Church Annulments to Children.

When Mom & Dad Break Up

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  What is a declaration of nullity?

A church annulment, or more properly a Declaration of Nullity, is an acknowledgment that a full marriage commitment was never achieved for a particular couple.  The Declaration of Nullity process examines the marriage for the necessary elements of a valid union:  permanence, fidelity, true companionship, love of the spouse, and fruitfulness in being open to the possibility of children.

The tribunal seeks to determine if there was anything that prevented those elements from being present at the time of consent, even though both individuals may have entered the marriage in good will.

  Does a Declaration of Nullity affect the legitimacy of children?

A church Declaration of Nullity is always strictly a religious matter and is solely an evaluation of the spousal relationship. It does not affect the civil validity of the marriage and does not involve the legal standing of any children.

  How long will a Declaration of Nullity in the Ordinary Process take?

Due to the great number of cases considered and the demands of canon law, an exact time cannot be specified. Usually the process takes about ten to twelve months from the date of your deposition. However, no one is free to promise a specific date for a subsequent marriage until the tribunal gives notification of an affirmative decision (without restrictions). The parties involved in the case are always free to contact the tribunal office regarding the status of the case. 

  Will my former spouse have to participate Declaration of Nullity in the Ordinary Process?

No, however, the tribunal does inform the other spouse that the review has been initiated. The tribunal then offers that person the opportunity to participate. This is required by canon law. A reasonable time is given the former spouse to reply. If the former spouse declines to cooperate, the tribunal is not bound to wait indefinitely for a response before judging the case.

  Do I have to come to Milwaukee for my deposition?

Yes, if you live within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. However, other arrangements can be made if there are special circumstances. If you live outside the Archdiocese of Milwaukee you will be interviewed at the tribunal of the Diocese in which you live or be sent a rogatory (questionnaire) at the judge’s discretion.

Upcoming Presentations

Learn more about the two types of nullity processes and have your questions answered at one of our upcoming presentations. 

November 11, 2019
St. John the Evangelist, Greenfield
7 p.m.

November 18, 2019
Prince of Peace/Principe de Paz, Milwaukee
7 p.m. (Spanish)

November 25, 2019
St. Patrick, Racine
7 p.m. (Spanish)

January 28, 2020
Lumen Christi, Mequon
6:30 p.m.

If your parish would like to host a presentation, please contact our office to schedule a date. 

Contact Us

tribunal@archmil.org
414-769-3300

Very Rev. Paul Hartmann, M. Div., J.C.L.
Judicial Vicar

Zabrina Decker, J.C.D.
Tribunal Chancellor/Canon Lawyer

Very Rev. Mark Payne, J.C.L.
Defender of the Bond

Maurice Thompson, B.B.A.
Office Manager/Procurator/Advocate

Jesus Cabrera, J.C.L.
Canon Lawyer

Andrew R.J. Vaughn, M.A.
Procurator/Advocate

Stephen J. Harvey, M.Div.
Procurator/Advocate

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408