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A Guide to writing a Summary Statement

A written petition (Summary Statement) is presented by the person wishing to initiate an examination of their marriage for possible invalidity.

Keep in mind that a marriage depends on the consent both parties gave to marriage. Thus, the cause of invalidity had to be present at the time of the wedding.


This guide assists you in recalling significant details of your courtship and marriage.


Use the questions as a prompt to give us a good idea of your relational issues. A summary of one to three pages is normally sufficient.

Marriage law states that marriage is brought about by: (a) the consent of the parties, (b) legitimately manifested, and (c) by those qualified according to law. If it can be proven that the consent was defective at the time of exchange of vows, on the part of one or both parties, then marriage was not brought about.



A history of your background combined with details of the courtship reveal the circumstances, influences, and experiences which shaped your choice of a marriage partner. What was the quality of your family life and growing up years? Were there any significant or problematic circumstances or events that may have negatively impacted you or your choices later in life? As a result of your upbringing, do you think you really knew what family life was all about? When you met your former spouse, were you in school? Living at home? Working? Self-sufficient? What plans did you have for your life?


Courtship lays a foundation for marriage in that it allows a couple to develop many of the virtues and skills that they will need for a good marriage: self-discipline, self-sacrificing, patience, right judgment, discernment, open communication, trust, fortitude, perseverance, maturity, faith, hope, and love (to name a few).



Engagement is a period that signifies the commitment and devotion between two people who wish to spend the rest of their lives with one another. Reflect on your engagement.

Briefly describe. Was it a time of joy, stress, doubt? Did concerns surface? What were they? Did they negatively affect your relationship? Did you think you could overcome them? Was the engagement a time of preparation?






Pay attention to problematic events or behaviors and include if applicable: