Inez realised that she could no longer remain in the abusive relationship and for her own sake and her children decided to divorce her husband. They had married very young because she was pregnant but she believed she had done her best to create a stable environment. She had not really understood annulments and said that they had married to make their son legitimate and she didn’t now want to make him illegitimate. When Fr Sam explained to her that was not the case she felt more at peace.
An annulment is a declaration by the competent authorities of the church that a particular marriage was null and void from the beginning. It is not a dissolution of an existing marriage. It is not a judgement about the state of mind of the couple and does not make the children illegitimate. From Catholics and Divorce. Fr S Wales, CSsR.
Pope Francis: My two recent documents have simplified the procedures for the declarations of matrimonial nullity. The bishop himself in the Church over which he has been appointed shepherd and head is by that fact the judge of those faithful in his care. AL 244