Similar to lawyer Catholic church “What God has joined, men cannot divide”: This quote taken from the bible was interpreted by the Church to mean that a marriage cannot be dissolved by man. The only proper way for a bond to end would be for God to choose death for one of the spouses. At the time of marriage, the couple becomes interlocked through a spiritual bond. Divorce is only a legal recognition of the dismissal of marriage. Although it divides assets and wealth, it does not break the eternal bond that the covenant formed. The annulment is the only resource available that can void this bond. Annulments erase the sacrament of marriage, it dissolves them as if the marriage never took place.
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. therefore, what God has joined together, no human must separate, unless the marriage is unlawful”:This line taken from Matthew 19:6, is perhaps the starting point for the creation of annulments. Simply translated, Catholics believe Jesus was referring to a situation where a marriage never actually existed in the first place. The genesis of annulments arise from a situation where a marriage was contracted under false pretenses.
The laws of annulment are deeply rooted in the Catholic church and the bible. In regards to more modern history the annulment underwent a minor face lift in terms of process, but not use. During revolutionary times, northeastern American colonies passed laws enabling courts or legislatures to grant annulments. Conversely English common law did not provide for an annulment, so the sentiment was mixed when the United States was first established.
Currently most states offer annulments, and those that do not provide courts to honor the laws regulating marriages that are not observed. There are many misconceptions when it comes to annulments and its origin. Granted a wedding ceremony is a celebration, but it’s also a public display of a contractual obligation.