A lot of people in the Catholic Church thought that getting annulments should not be as hard as it was, and the Pope agreed. He took the rules that have basically been in place for hundreds of years and altered them, streamlining the process and making everything faster and cheaper than it has ever been.

There are four big changes that all Catholics should note:

— The second review that use to be carried out by a cleric has now been eliminated.

— The maximum time frame for the annulment process has been set at 45 days.

— Rather than costing thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, annulments should cost nothing, save for a small administrative fee.

— In cases with affairs and/or abuse, bishops can now put annulments on the fast track by giving them out themselves.

The Pope has been trying to make reforms in the church lately that will impact the common people who make up the vast majority of the churchgoers. This is just one more way that he’s doing it, and it has been well received.

This is big news for Catholics in the United States. The latest data is for 2012, but there were around 50,000 worldwide annulments that were granted in that year. About 50 percent of those were in America alone.

If you have been considering asking for an annulment of your marriage in Texas, you definitely need to know how the Pope has changed the process and what it means for you; additionally, you need to know about all of the legal steps that you’ll have to take for things like property division, visitation rights and more.

Source: KWCH 12, “Pope makes annulment of marriages easier,” Delia Gallagher and Daniel Burke, Sep. 07, 2015