Court overturns Church’s annulment of 20-year marriage

January 21st, 2011 - 12:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Jan 21 (IANS/AKI) The Italian supreme court Thursday struck down the decision of a lower court which upheld a Church-sanctioned annulment of a 20-year marriage on the grounds that it produced no children.

The Court of Cassation decided ‘not having children’ to be an insufficient reason to annul the marriage of the couple, who are from Italy’s northern Veneto region.

In Italy, church weddings are automatically registered in the town hall, and can be annulled by the Catholic church, although very few couples manage to obtain Church-sanctioned annulments.

Even civil divorce is governed by stringent laws that require a couple remain ‘legally separated’ for three years before the divorce can be finalised.

In this case, the husband did obtain an annulment from the Catholic authority known as the ‘Sacra Rota’ in 2001 and went on to obtain State recognition of the decision in 2007.


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