Annulment costs?

Q. I know that Catholics can seek an annulment for their marriage from the Church, but how much does it cost? If you don’t have a lot of money, can you still get an annulment?

N.R., via e-mail

A. Here is a reply from Father Francis Hoffman, J.C.D

An annulment costs a lot less than a divorce, because the Church subsidizes the wages of those who work in the diocesan tribunal and the parish priest usually donates his time for free to the couple. The priest, in turn, is supported by his parishioners and is definitely not doing his job for the money.

That said, the cost for an annulment depends on where you live and which diocesan tribunal is handling your case. The fees you pay are for the paperwork and a small part for the time involved in judging your case.

If you cannot even pay the minimum, I know of no diocese that will not handle your case for free. But in that event, you are still obliged — out of justice — to do something for those who are handling your case. Perhaps you could pray a Rosary for them?