Divorce, Annulments, and Remarriage

What does the Catholic Church really teach about divorce? Isn’t an annulment just a Catholic divorce? If I am Catholic and divorced can I remarry? Can a divorced Catholic receive communion? These are common questions that we answer.

What does the Catholic Church teach about divorce?

The Catholic Church does not permit divorce for valid sacramental marriages. In fact a valid sacramental marriage is impossible to dissolve thereby making divorce not possible if the marriage was sacramental.

In marriage, the two become one flesh in a union joined by God, (Mark 10:8). Jesus speaks about divorce: “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate,” (Mark 10:9). So for a marriage that meets the requirements of being a sacrament, divorce in the Catholic Church is not possible.

The annulment process is by which a marriage is determined whether or not it is valid, it is not a Catholic divorce process. If it found to be invalid (not meeting the requirements of a sacramental marriage) then an annulment would be granted.

Marriage directly parallels our relationship with God. God is 100% faithful in his relationship with us those who choose to get married are called to the same faithfulness.

What about if one spouse is abusive or unfaithful?

There are some cases where living together has become too difficult or practically impossible. The Church permits a physical separation of the spouses and living apart, but the two still remain married until an annulment is granted (if applicable).

“The Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble,” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1649).

Isn’t an annulment just a Catholic divorce?

No. An annulment is not a Catholic divorce, bur rather says that the marriage never met the conditions to be considered sacramental. If at least one criterion for sacramental marriage was not met then the marriage can be considered invalid and an annulment will be granted.

The annulment process is often long, usually lasting about a year or longer; the people who make up the marriage tribunal for your diocese must perform extensive research in determining if an annulment can be granted.

If I am Catholic and divorced can I get remarried?

Perhaps, but only if you have received an annulment (which means your previous marriage was not considered a valid sacrament). If you receive a civil divorce, but no annulment, then you are still married to the other person in the eyes of the Church and would be committing adultery if you married another.

Jesus says, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery,” (Mark 10:11-12).

If I am divorced can I still receive communion?

If your previous marriage was not annulled and you chose to remarry, then no, because you would be in adulterous relationship and in a state of mortal sin. Otherwise it is perfectly acceptable to receive the Eucharist if you are divorced.

Comments

  1. says

    Hello. I’m now in my second marriage. my first marriage has been annulled. Me and my present wife did not get married in the church. This is also her second marriage, and her first marriage has not been annulled. Can I receive communion since my first marriage has been annulled?

  2. Justiana says

    I am divorced from my ex husband past 6 years,we married in Catholic Church n both of us are Christians,court declared divorce within a year on mutual agreement,we also have a son which he agreed will be with me and I alone look after my son without any financial support since my divorce,the reason of divorce was; my marriage was fixed with him by elders n when asked him he gave wrong name of his father so that my people may not get any information about his family that they were bad,he lied that a property was his when is was not,he lied that the family members we met on first meet adopted daughter when after marriage I knew she was his sisters daughter,since we stayed joint family this affected,after marriage I came to know that he never had a job but he lied earlier that he was a seaman,all marriage was based on lie but I still continued thinking I am married now I should not break it on any cost and adjust,my parents supported us financially because of my son,my parents gave him a job abroad he left it and came hence they asked me to take over to work and gave me job overseas,wth great pain I had to leave my son with ohm for 2 years in this time he kept a live in relationship with a girl and was Madelyn in love with her ,I could not bear and had no other option than depart,I confronted him about his life that I came to know , he did not bother to give any effort to deny he put his head down ,and said he will apply divorce, I agreed on 1 condition I vl give if he gives my child , he agreed At once,and that was the end of it ,I am highly religious but I never heard about annulment,all our catholic community are quick to judge me as I am adulterous women, when I went in scripture search ,and google while I came across word called annulment,after knowing this I need an annulment will I get it? But soon after divorce he got married to that girl n have a child,past 4 years I also got married but since my husband is muslim n my family did not support me for his religion I was forced to get married in muslim way,but I don’t hav child yet with him he accepted my son as his from the time of marriage and both love each other,he also supports both of us financially,praise be to god that I managed to give jesus to my muslim husband,he is now ready to be baptized and marry in catholic way,but I don’t know where to start,will the church permit me annulment ? How long will that take,I don’t wan to. Come in contact with my ex cause I stay in different country and he is aggressive man,than can my husband get all procedures of baptism communion,confirmation and marriage how and whom to approach? Please reply.

    • says

      Justiana – I am praying for you. From what you wrote, it appears that your previous marriage was arranged and that your ex-husband provided false information in order to get married. Both parties to the marriage must freely consent to the marriage. If one person is holding back or if the person is coerced into marriage then that would be grounds for an annulment. An annulment declares that the previous marriage never happened and then you are free to marry again. Please consult with the priest at your church to discuss this important matter.

  3. Mandero says

    I am a widower, having been happily married to a non catholic for over 30 years, we wed in a registry office. My husband died many years ago, I remarried in 2006, and have not seen my husband since 2009, he lives in another country. There was a lot of mental cruelty from him, and many many issues, he is not a catholic, unlike me. It is my wish to be free of him, would I be able to get an annulment please? It is not likely that I would become involved in marriage or a relationship in the future.

  4. says

    Dear Jon
    I was married for 14 years. Divorced in 1985. We had two children who are now both in their thirties. I am a catholic and married my ex in the Catholic Church. He was abusive and aggressive in the marriage. After ten years I met a non catholic man and got married in the registrar office. We are still happily married for nineteen years now. And would like to marry in a Catholic Church. Can I get an annulment. Thanks

  5. Elle Wali says

    Hi, I am married for almost 8 yrs now. We used to be a happy couple until recently we are not getting along well. We are not having sexual relationship now for almost a year. Sometimes I feel he can hurt me because of too much jealousy. He already hurt my son which he said he just lost his temper because he was too much naughty. It got big bruises. I am aftaid to tell him that I want to legally separate with him but im afraid he will take my kids away. What shall I do? We got married by a civil wedding. Please advise.

  6. Hunter says

    Hi Jon, I am from the US and married my husband in a Catholic Church in Ireland last year. I am not catholic. He has recently revealed that he kept hidden over $80,000 in debt. We agreed before marriage to have a family early on and now because of this debt we are not able to do so. I am in my mid 30s and I feel this deceipt has compromised my ability to have a family as it will take many years to pay off. Is this grounds for an annulment and if so how are assets and debt handled?
    Thank you.

  7. Martha Fratello says

    I was baptized as a child in the Baptist faith. Several years ago, I married a man in a non-religious ceremony. He was never baptized. The marriage lasted five years. We have one child.

    I recently married a Catholic man in a non-religious cermony. This is his second marriage as well. His first marriage was not a Catholic ceremony as his first wife was not Catholic.

    I would like to convert to Catholicism. Do we both need to have our first marriages annulled for me to become Catholic?

  8. Natasha says

    I am looking for advice. I married 8 months ago after being with my partner for over 8 years and entered into the marriage truely and faithfully believing it to be for life. My husband came home 3 weeks ago to tell me he does not love me anymore and was moving out. This was completely out of the blue and has stunned me. He swears there is no 3rd party involved, he just does not love me anymore. I have offered what i can to convince him to stay and give our marraige a chance but he refuses. We married as catholics but he was never a practicing catholic, only in name and only agreed to marry in a church as it was fundamental to my belief. I am a practicing catholic and I no have no idea where i stand. If he decides he wants to divorce me, and its him who is refusing to stay with me to try and rebuild the marriage what can i do? From reading this does not seem to be considered reason for annulment in the church but if its not me who wants to end the marriage what can i do?

    • says

      Natasha, as you know you are in a difficult situation. The first thing to do is pray for your husband and for yourself. The second thing to do is to set up an appointment with your priest to talk about it. He will be able to work with your or refer you to someone who can provide more guidance for your situation. If an annulment is the eventual path that you choose the process will reveal if it was a sacramental marriage. Both parties must enter into the marriage freely without reservation. Perhaps he had undisclosed reservations about getting married 8 months ago and they are manifesting now. I will also pray for you.

  9. says

    I am tortured every day I live. I am a divorced Roman Catholic, with children from that marriage. I remarriedin a civil service, with children from that civil marriage. I go to Mass regularly, but do not receive Holy Communion. I no longer love or intimate with this person for last 3years. I sleep elsewhere. We live as brother/sister but he has a lot of hate for me. I want to recieve Our Lord in Communion, how can I? it totally has broken me that icannot recieve. I want to go to Confessions this Saturday, but I am so scared that I will not be able to go to Communion. The only reason I stay in the home is because my youngest is 11 and is going to run away if I divorce her father. Please help me. Many thanks. Mary.

    • says

      Mary, in confession the Lord offers forgiveness through the ministry of the priest. I encourage you to start there and do not lose hope. It may be a process to come back to Holy Communion, but with perseverance and God’s grace you can overcome this.

  10. says

    I am a born baptized catholic and I met and married a non baptized baptist. We devorced after 5 yrs. I never got permission from the church to marry out side the church. I didn’t know that was a require like I do now. Since then I have met a catholic man we want to marry n catholic faith he has never been married. Can we do so? I want to know if my 1st marriage was invalid do I have to get an annulment?

    • says

      Great question! Start with contacting your priest to discuss. He will ask you some more questions about your situation to determine if it is necessary to begin the annulment process.

  11. bernardine says

    Greetings to you sir’ please I need your advice, am 29years old,married to a man @ the age of 16 and we wedded in catholic church,ever since we are married is from one big problem to another, I happEned to be the bread winner taking care of his responsibilities for the past 10years+ yet he end up abusing me, unfaithfulness etc. Am tied of the marriage and am having a fear of losing my life in this marriage. we have been separated for 2years and he have never ask for the welfare of our 3kids up to date. I need to divorce him official, how do I start? Thanks. I need your response.

    • says

      Hello, Bernardine. I am sorry to hear of your troubles. You will need to start with your priest and talk to him about your situation. It could be the case that you do not have a sacramental marriage if you did not enter into it freely at age 16. I will pray for your situation to improve.

  12. Janet Greens says

    Dear Jon, I posted a comment a few days ago but it seems to have disappeared and so I am reposting it now. I really need your advice on a fairly complicated situation. I am a single Catholic and have never been married. I have me an absolutely amazing man. He is very interested in becoming Catholic and wants any children we have to be raised as Catholics. The complications are that he is a non-Catholic Christian and was married, through a civil marriage (not a religious one) to a Muslim (he remained Christian). Later, he then got a civil divorce, again in a civilian court. He does not know whether he was baptised because his folks past away when he was young and he does not have any other close relatives living. My question is what is his status considered by the our Church? Would we be able to marry in a Catholic Church? With kind regards, Janet.

    • says

      Hi Janet. Your situation truly is unique! However, given that he is not and was not Catholic it seems that a sacramental marriage probably never took place and he should be free to marry. Now, if you married him while he was still not a Catholic you would need a dispensation from your bishop (see: Marrying a non-Catholic). As I always recommend, begin by making an appointment with your priest to learn the right course of action. He will be able to go over your situation in detail. God bless.

  13. Toni says

    Hi Jon,
    My boyfriend and I have been talking about marriage for some time now. I am Catholic and he just became Catholic, thought the RCIA program.
    He was previously married in a civil ceremony, non religious, and is divorced. Would it be possible for us to be married in a Catholic Church?
    Thank you!

  14. Andrea says

    My boyfriends name is Matthew and he is Presbyterian. I am Catholic and I would like to get married in a Catholic Church. Before my boyfriend ever met me, he was married, and the marriage was not a happy one. A non happy marriage is not a marriage. To make a long story short, she left him which enabled him to get a civil divorce. What I need to know is that does he have to get an annulment when the fact is that she left him?

  15. Charlie says

    Hi Jon, I am catholic and wanted to understand the proceedure my fiancé and I need to go through to get married in a Catholic Church.

    The complication is he was previously married in a civil ceremony at a registry office/hotel and now he is divorced. How is that viewed in the eyes of the church?

    Look forward to hearing from you

    • says

      If he is not Catholic then there doesn’t appear to be the possibility of a sacramental marriage for his previous marriage so he should be considered free to marry. Your priest will be able to provide more guidance in this area.

      • penny canino says

        Hi. Im hoping you could educate me on wether I need an annulment or not. I married only in the courthouse. I divorced 7 years ago. I just got engaged to a catholic man, I’m also catholic, he has never being married but I need to know if I need an annulment eventhough I was never married in any church.

        Thank you for any input you can provide.

        Penny

        • says

          Hello, Penny. I would recommend that you contact your parish priest to discuss this. It may be that you need an annulment to confirm that your courthouse marriage was never, in fact, sacramental.

  16. casilda says

    Hi i am a catholic..i was married before in a civil wedding in a courthouse but it ended in divorce..can i remarry in a catholic church? my fiance is also a catholic..

  17. Joyce Churchill says

    My son is divorced and has applied for an annulment. He has become really good friends with a woman, who is a non-Catholic recently divorced woman. They are together 24/7 every weekend (even when it is his weekend with the kids), talk and text all the time. He said that they do not sleep together but he ‘has the hots’ for her. I think that he is committing adultery. He doesn’t see it that way. Who is right?

  18. Margaret M Bannon says

    My first spouse is deceased and I am married by civil ceremony to a divorced catholic . Can I still receive sacraments?

  19. sofia says

    Dear Jon
    I am Catholic and live in Greece married once with an orthodox man and divorced since 8 years. At that time we only got married in the Orthodox church …..My fiance now is Orthodox and devorced my question is can we get married in a Catholic Church?? Is my first marriage invalid for the Catholic Church since i did not married in our Church??? and if Catholic Church does not permit a catholic wedding can i move on making a second wedding in an Orthodox Church…….I am really confused…..

  20. APA says

    Widows role in Church

    Apostle Paul says

    Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous [d]pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed. 1 Timothy 5:3-16

  21. APA says

    To the Unmarried Brothers and Sisters understand

    Apostle Paul says:

    Because of the present troubles, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you from this.

    What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

    I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

    If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.

    A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
    1 Corinthians 7:26-40

  22. APA says

    Please understand,

    If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

    But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?.
    1 Corinthians 7:12-16

  23. APA says

    To the Married

    To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
    1 Corinthians 7:10-11

  24. APA says

    To the Unmarried and the Widows

    Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

  25. APA says

    Concerning Married Life

    It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
    1 Corinthians 7:1-7

  26. Kelly Peterson says

    In 1979 I married a Catholic man in the Catholic church. We were divorced in 1988. We both subsequenlty married and divorced other people. He and I are together again after 25 years. I am currently in RCIA. Should we renew our vows in the church or are we still considered married? And is there any point in time that he can receive the holy sacrament again?

  27. Wendy says

    Hi Jon! My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years. We have two children (ages 12 & 4). I am a cradle Catholic, he was raised Baptist but isn’t active in his faith, nor does he attend church with me and the kids. Our kids are baptisted in the Catholic faith. We were married outside of the church, due to my husband having been married once before. They were married for 5 years and had no children.

    Over the course of our marriage, I have tried to be an active member of my church, but fail miserably all of the time. It’s hard to attend Mass, knowing that you aren’t suppose to receive communion, since our marriage isn’t recognized by the Church. I will admit, I have gone to communion on occasion, knowing that I shouldn’t have and feel utterly sick to my stomach, knowing that this is gravely looked upon.

    To the point…..how difficult would you imagine it to be for my husband to receive an annulment for his first marriage? I would love for our marriage to be blessed in the Church and for me to be able to receive the sacraments again. I haven’t even brought it up to my husband that I would like for him to do get his first marriage annulled. I’m not sure he would understand the need for it, since he is not of the Catholic faith. Just trying to get some information together before I approach him on this.

  28. N. Duncan says

    I was married to a Catholic in a Catholic church years ago. The marriage ended after four years. I remarried a Baptist in a civil ceremony. We are still married with two grown children who were baptized Catholic. I recently did some research and discovered that my first husband died several years ago. My first question is whether I can go to confession now? My second question is what is necessary to be able to take communion again? Thank you.

  29. says

    I am a baptized noncatholic and want to begin the process of joining the church. My husband is a nonpracticing catholic. We both have previous marriages and children from these marriages. I want to be able to take communion.
    My husbands first wife was also noncatholic and they were married in a noncatholic church. My ex husband has since died. Will my husband be eligible for an annulment since he was not married in the Catholic Church? Will we need to remarry if he gets an annulment. This is very confusing to me.

    • Tom Meister says

      Barbara, this may be simpler than you expect. Since your first husband has died, you are free to marry. Your current husband, baptized a Catholic, was required to celebrate his marriage in a Catholic church, but he did not, so that marriage may have been invalid on its face, without extensive inquiry into other circumstances at the time of his first marriage. (This requirement may have been waived or dispensed by the Catholic Church at the time of his first marriage; check with him to make sure he did not have the Church’s permission to celebrate his first marriage outside the Catholic Church.) If his first marriage was invalid because he did not celebrate it in the required way, all that is needed is documentary proof of his baptism in the Catholic Church ( a recent baptismal certificate from the church where he was baptized) and his marriage license and divorce decree. The whole process should take less than 2 months. You and he should speak with a priest or deacon about this, or call the tribunal (marriage court) of the diocese in which you live. After the grounds for annulment are proven by submission of these documents, you can celebrate your marriage in the Catholic Church; this is referred to as “convalidation.”
      Since you are not Catholic at this time, you will likely need to go through a period of learning about the Catholic faith, commonly called RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). Talk to the priest or deacon about this as well. Thank you for all you are doing to bring your husband and yourself into full communion with the Church. May God bless you and your marriage.

  30. Ray says

    I married my wife in a catholic church in 1974, we have no children and she began an affair and then she went off with a so called friend and my employer 1981. She demanded a divorce and I delayed for two years be fore she threatened to appy herself to the courts so I was forced to relent , getting same on grounds of her adultery two years later. Then she immediately re- married and I now have no idea where she lives or is alive even. I want to marry my friend and carer, can I now do so without sinning in the eyes of the church. Can I take the sacriments. From what I have read the church seems to be quite intransigent on such matters. I even discussed the same some years ago with a priest who frankly appeared to wish to knowhow much money I had. What do you think Jon ?

  31. Carolyn says

    I am the daughter of a son and a daughter of alcoholics my family has suffered generational strongholds for at least four generations  I was raised in and out of many different Protestant churches. At the age of 15 I became pregnant and was married by my uncle. He was a preacher at one time but that I know of he did not have a church when he married  us. my marriage was a sad solemn ordeal in my mother’s living room. It was march. On September 1 of the same year I turned 16 and was 9 months pregnant when I found my 18 year old husband at a hotel with his ex girlfriend.  Unfortunately, i stayed another three years in which he and I did some serious damage to each other.  When I left my mothers home I spent so many years in the dark suffering one consequence after another. In 1985 i married  a basically peaceful agnostic man  who adopted my daughter and we did try to make our lives work together. Unfortunately our blended family didn’t survive our faithless union and we divorced 12 years later. I fell right into a very disfunctional relationship with a non practicing alcoholic catholic. It was during this relationship that I returned to church. I was blessed with two sons and tried to pull it together for them. I was able to earn two degrees and despite living with a particularly dysfunctional alcoholic I made steps to try and heal from my past and basically grow up. I was determined to not have a third divorce but the healthier I became the harder it was to not deal with the verbal and some times  physical abuse my children and I were being subjected to. In November of 2012 I made the hardest decision I’ve ever made and left everything. Healing from this brokenness has taken amazing twists and by the grace of my Heavenly Father I have found a home in the Catholic church. This is really hard to believe for anyone who knows me because I was taught, believed and was very vocal about so many misconceptions about the church. If anyone would have told me that i would be here I would have never believed it. At 49 I have found the discipline and order that my life has been missing and I celebrate it every Sunday during mass. My youngest son and I are half way through RCIA classes and are looking forward to our first communion during Easter vigil.  It is my intention to seek an annulment for my first marriage. I know that it was not a valid marriage by church law and feel that an annulment would be granted. My question is about the other two marriages. If someday God brings a good man into my life that actually understands the sacrament of marriage would I be required to seek annulment for my two non valid marriages?  Wow what a mess I made. Thanks so much for your time.

  32. CMS says

    Dear Jon,

    I am recently engaged to my wonderful boyfriend. I am Catholic, baptized and confirmed, as is he. He was previously married, had children, and divorced. This was due to infidelity of his wife and she wanted to end the marriage. She has since re-married and had another child with her new husband. When they were first married, they did not have a Catholic wedding. I am not sure if she was baptized or not at that time. We are trying to plan our wedding but want to make sure we can marry in the Catholic church. The date chosen as of now is about 19 months away. Is this enough time for the annulment process if we qualify? Are there certain cases that will not require a lengthy tribunal? My fiancee is dreading re-hashing everything from the past and I know it took him a long time to get past it himself.

    Thanks for your help

  33. Fred Rogers says

    I am a divorced / widower and divorced father. I am Episcopal and want to marry a Catholic woman. What needs to take place? According to what I have read my marriages do not count as they are not acknowledged by the church. If that is so we should be free to marry correct? Or not so easy? BTW I have read the Lack of forms and the process and it appears as though it doesn’t apply to me. Can you advise please…

  34. Anne says

    Hi, We were married for 4 years; married in a catholic church. We got legally divorced 2 years ago (both catholic, no children); no annulment. Since the divorce, we have been able to work thing things out (long story) and our relationship is back on track. We’d like to retract the divorce/re-marry. Is it possible to just represent the original paperwork from the priest in 2007 to get a new marriage certificate, in effect voiding the divorce?

  35. Jimmy says

    Is it true that if a catholic marries someone in the catholic church that is not catholic then later they get divorced an annulment isn’t neccessary for the catholic to marry again? That is a friend of mines understanding, but it seams to me if the marriage was in the catholic church it would be recognized in the same way as 2 catholics that were married in the catholic church and an annulment would be required for the catholic to marry again in the catholic church. His understanding is that a catholic can marry as much he or she wants in the catholic church and never have to get an annulment to marry again as long as they never marry a catholic. That seams strange to me.

  36. rose says

    Hi Jon. If the process of annulment has been settled, and the man wish to remarry, is it (the wedding) going to be a full Mass (able to receive communion) or the priest will only bless the marriage?

  37. hydin says

    Jon, I see where you are saying that you are able to receive the Eucharist if divorced but not remarried. Can you help me understand why the Catechism states that Divorce is a Grave Matter, which usually means a mortal sin. Of course separations are allowed, if approved, according to canon law for abuse as long as the danger remains. Reconciliation is always expected even for abuse cases if the danger is no longer present.

    If one spouse divorces the other for irreconcilable differences, no abuse or danger present, wouldn’t they be in a state of mortal sin? If not why is the language of innocent spouse present? This section seems to define one spouse as guilty and one as innocent of sin.

    It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.179 (1640)

    One spouse has not contravened the moral law which implies the other has.

    I can see where one spouse, the one not filing is not in a state of mortal sin. Is the other innocent as well? If not as part of setting things right and being forgiven wouldn’t they be required to attempt reconciliation or get approval of clergy for a separation? Can. 1153
    §1 A spouse who occasions grave danger of soul or body to the other or to the children, or otherwise makes the common life unduly difficult, provides the other spouse with a reason to leave, either by a decree of the local Ordinary or, if there is danger in delay, even on his or her own authority.

    §2 In all cases, when the reason for separation ceases, the common conjugal life is to be restored, unless otherwise provided by ecclesiastical authority.

    This confuses me. Either the Catechism uses the term grave matter where there is none (no mention of being remarried here) or the person divorcing is in mortal sin. Canon law would also be violated if no danger or approval of clergy exists. Can you explain this for me?

  38. Jennifer says

    My ex husband and I were divorced for eight years when he passed away. I remarried a few years in a civil ceremony a few years after divorcing. Can I receiving communion?

  39. PHIllip says

    Gudday
    Pls I met a lady of 25yrs,she has got married with one kid..but the Husband has left this world…
    And we are getting acquitted to each other for a relationship.
    But it is now 5months after the burial of the husband..can we start a relationship now, please if No,how long can I wait to start a relationship (marriage) with her. Thanks

  40. Jeff says

    How does the church view a marriage that consists of a non-baptized Christian to an atheist in a Christian Church? Is that a valid marriage?

    • says

      There is no such thing as a non-baptized Christian. Baptism is the first entry point into the church and the way in which someone becomes a Christian. In this case, no it is not a valid marriage.

      • Jeff says

        That is the situation for a friend of mine who wants to get re-married and come into the Catholic Church. What advice should I give her? Her fiancé is Catholic and free to marry. Her ex-husband is more than likely not going to respond to the annulment. What does she need to do? Thank you.

  41. Jean Lauer says

    Good Morning,

    I am a Catholic, a widow of almost four years. My friend is a catholic divorced since 1988. Never remarried. He was married by a priest to a non – catholic woman . I am assuming he will need an annulment in order for us to marry catholic?

  42. Neal says

    My exwife is getting remarried and is asking me for my address to fill out paperwork from the Catholic Church? Her new boyfriend is catholic so I assume this is for that. Upon looking I can’t find any mention of this paperwork online?

  43. August says

    My case is a bit complicated, Jon…but here goes:

    A cradle Catholic, I have been married once in a marriage that lasted just over 20 years, and which produced one beloved child. We married in her church, a Methodist one, but without special permission from the Catholic diocese as I was unaware of this requirement at the time and I was also somewhat estranged from the Church at that point in my life. My wife had earlier been married in her own church, but divorced, producing no children of her own.

    My wife subsequently divorced me about 4 years ago. Since then, I’ve returned to the Catholic church and have been actively involved in several ministries (CRHP, eucharistic minister, reader at Mass, adoration and now CLOW), much to my enjoyment and (prayerful) spiritual development.

    In the course of returning to the Church, I met a good Catholic woman who was herself recently divorced by her spouse and we’ve developed a close bond and relationship, with marriage discussed but not yet formally proposed.

    My earlier 20-yr marriage has been formally declared invalid due to “lack of canonical form,” as we did not have special permission to marry. As you’re likely aware, this actually isn’t a formal annulment since the marriage lacked proper form from the beginning in the Church’s eyes — the original marriage was simply found to be invalid. A formal “Declaration of Freedom to Marry Due to Lack of Canonical Form” was issued by my pastor.

    And now an additional complication: speaking recently with my apparently ever-lonely former wife about our now college-age child, she essentially broke down and said that she wants to explore our reconciling. For our now-adult child and their future children, and at least in part due to a sense of spiritual obligation, I’ve agreed to at least meet and talk about things.

    All of which leads to my questions:

    1) What is my greater spiritual obligation here in the Church’s eyes — to stay the course with my current relationship with a bonafide Catholic and (re)marry [with no likelihood of having additional children at her ~50-yr age], or to return to my original wife and child and marry with the Church’s approval?

    2) Perhaps more deterministically, would the Church’s current constraints even allow for approval of my (re)marrying my wife, given that she had been legally married (both non-Catholics) once before?

    Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hi August. Welcome back to the Church! Many different things to talk about! You are clearly caught between a rock and a hard place. What do you think God wants for your life? Take it to prayer. Be honest with God and yourself as to what God wants for you. Consider spiritual direction to help you discern what you are being called to at this point in your life. God has a plan.

      First thought. Is your new girlfriend free to marry? Has she received an annulment? The Church strongly advises against entering into a relationship with her until you know she is free to marry. If her previous marriage is indeed a valid sacrament you wouldn’t want to go down the road tempting yourself with something you can’t have.

      If you want to reconcile with your former wife, she should look into an annulment for her marriage prior to you. While your marriage to her was not valid (sacramentally) she needs to find out if her previous marriage is also invalid regardless of whether it was in the Catholic Church. For instance if she entered into her previous marriage with the intention that it was faithful and fruitful until death, the Catholic Church recognizes the sacramentality of marriages in other churches so long as the spouses have the same intentionality as what the Catholic Church requires.

      There’s certainly no need to rush – be patient, take it to prayer, and seek what God wants for you. Everything will fall into place from there.

      • August says

        Thank you very much for your good thoughts and suggestions, Jon. And it is good to be back.

        To answer your first-thought question regarding my new girlfriend, yes, she has been granted a formal annulment. We’re both free to marry in the Church’s eyes.

        Must say that, to me, there’s no small irony in the fact that my Methodist marriage to my now ex-wife isn’t viewed as being sacramentally valid by the Church — such that a formal annulment wasn’t even required after we divorced — but her earlier Methodist marriage to her former spouse is presumed to be sacramentally valid by the Church such that an annulment is required, even though they were both non-Catholics. But at least I can see the path forward, arduous as it may be, for us to reconcile and remarry should we choose to do that…so I thank you for that information.

        My ex-wife’s ex-husband had been married once before himself, so perhaps another “Lack of Form” condition may apply. We’ll check with the local parish should things between us develop to that stage.

        In any case, thanks again for your kind assistance. I’m a weekly regular at adoration and seem to receive my clearest guidance from God there, and will prayerfully seek that over time as you suggest.

  44. Rhodora says

    Im single and my boyfriend was seperated with his wife for12 years. If annulment is granted it would be possible that we will get married at the rc church?and also he is not a catholic…what would be the process.. Thank you

  45. Wendy Ann says

    Jon,
    I am a Catholic living in Goa India, My husband left me 3 years ago when I was pregnant with our 3rd child. During our marriage he was often very verbally abusive and would constantly doubt and accuse me of having affairs – which were never true. Since he walked out 3 years ago – on the excuse that I had been sleeping with other men and the child was not his, Since he left, he has had no contact at all with our 3 children. He does not support us in anyway and infact initially use my name and borrow money on my cards and left several debts for me to pay. I do know where he lives. But his abusive nature has me extremely scared for he feels no shame and would not hesitate to shame me in public. He is currently living in our apartment in Mumbai – the mortgage f which is being repaid by me. In such a situation would I get an annulment if I applied for it?

    • says

      Hi Wendy. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. One of the criteria for a Catholic marriage is that you enter into it freely. It may be the case in your situation that you did not enter your marriage completely free, such as if you were coerced, you had significant doubts, etc. This would be something that the marriage tribunal would review in your diocese. I encourage you to speak with your priest to start the process. God bless.

      • Wendy Ann says

        Jon,
        Sorry to trouble you… but would the fact that I was under the impression that he was a practising Catholic, which I later found out was not true… be a grounds for an annulment ? Also, he had wanted me to abort my 3rd child which I refused… But I have not proof for this of course…

  46. Jermal says

    My situation is complicated. I was married in the Church 20 years ago and got a civil divorce about 2 years later. I did not get an annullment. I had a son from this marriage however he was conceived before the marriage. Subsequently, I have been married and divorced twice after that in Protestant ceremonies and have fathered 5 more children. I am now currently married to a Baptist and we were married in a Baptist Church. Through the years I attended Mass and received communion. No one told me otherwise. I however did leave the Church and started attending a Baptist Church with my wife about 4 or 5 years ago. I howevr now want to return to my faith. I don’t know where to get started. Will I need an annullment for all of these marriages? How can I get the Church to reckognize my current marriage? What about my children are they all considered illegitimate? Please HELP!

    • says

      Hi Jermal. I am so glad to see that you want to come back to the Church. I always recommend that people start by talking with a priest. Contact a parish priest near you to get the process started. You will be asked to go to confession, you’ll need an annulment for your first marriage and the rest will be worked out by you and the priest. God bless.

  47. Sophia Mai says

    Dear Jon,
    My bf is a Italian Catholic, im Vietnamese Catholic (still single). We re going to get married but we have much problem abt the annulment. He divorced 12 yrs ago, he married for 5 yrs and got a son (12 yrs old w his ex-wife). Now he want to annul a marriage but he said to me when he talk w the priest in Milan, they said he can not annul cuz he got a son. But i search info abt annulment on lots of website all the say the children is no effect from their’s parent annulment. Im so confused and can not know exactly conditons abt the annulment a marriage. We relly want to marry at the Church but its seem to hard to do that. Pls give me some advice abt our situation. Can he make the annulment and can you show us the best ways to solve it.
    Thanks so much Jon, God bless you!

  48. Sandy says

    My ex husband & I are both Catholic, we were married in the Catholic Church, and recently divorced. We did not get our marriage annulled and actually want to remarry each other again. (Very long story) must we remarry in the Catholic Church or can we just go to JOP as marriage is still valid within the church?

  49. Curtis Rudolph says

    Thank you for posting this. I am currently taking an online course through a university for Catholic Social Thought and Justice and I am writing about new age marriage and issues with common marriage, divorce, and annullments. This website is very well done and I have given you credit for your work.

  50. christine says

    hi jon, i am from philippines. my husband and I are legally married in civil rites. my husband’s previous marriage was annulled but not the church marriage. is it possible to file church annulment outside the philippines?
    If so, what are the requirements to file for church annulment?

  51. Jessie says

    I am a Protestant interested in catholicism and have been struggling in my marriage. I have been strongly considering divorce. I’ve been talking with a catholic who thinks my marriage doesn’t sound valid and could be annulled. The more I look at it the more I think they are correct. I’ve been married for 7 years and we have never consummated the marriage and from the beginning there was never an openness to children on either part. I have been reconsidering that stance for children but not with my spouse as we have too many problems and never even consummated the marriage. Does it sound like I have a case for annulment if I decide to convert?

  52. S.Lantrip says

    I married a catholic in 1953. I signed a paper promising to raise out children, which I did and they still practice the catholic faith. My husband became abusive and an alcohilic and put me in the hosiptal with abuse and when he started on the children, I had to consult a priest. I decided I had to leave the home so I could maybe save our lives. We both had counseling however, he did not comply. He is now dead and has been for a long time. I finally remarried (after his death) to a fine Christian man who had lost his wife through death. We attended church (non denominational for years. He is now 90 yrs. old and we have been married for 23 years. He is unable to attend services, but does pray and read his bible each day.
    My question is this. I wish to return to the Catholic Faith as I became a part of it the 23 years I was married to my now deceased husband. Will there be a complication for me to embrace the catholic faith again?

  53. scott martin says

    I am divorced not a catholic but am in love with a girl that is catholic and would like to marry her. I am converting to catholic and would like to know if we can marry.

  54. JeffWy says

    I am a divorced and remarried Protestant. I have long hoped to join the Catholic Church. I was not able to complete RCIA because I had not pursued an annulment from my first marriage. My 2nd wife and I have lived apart for some time but have no plans to formally divorce as we have a child together that we are sharing and raising separately. Does the simple fact that I had a divorce from my first wife and remarried into a 2nd marriage mean I must pursue an annulment from my first wife, even if I am not living with my 2nd wife?

  55. gfw says

    Hi I have a question. I was married in the catholic church for 30 years to a wonderful man. We had a beautiful family and life, however, sadly he passed away tragically several years ago. A couple years thereafter, I remarried in a civil ceremony and was quickly divorced (all within 2 years start to finish) I am ready to move on with my life and have found my way back to being a practicing catholic. I am now wondering if since I was married in that brief civil union and divorced, do I need to get a catholic annulment in addition? I so hope not??

  56. hannah says

    I am reading all these comments & questions about annullments. How come so many people are having annullments? How is it possible to be married to someone over 2 years have a child and then divorced and able to have it annulled so as to marry again? It seems to contradict what your church is teaching? please explain

  57. Duane says

    I’m not Catholic sir but I have found a wonderful lady that is. I was married civilly and divorced the same way. Not to get into the details of the marriage my question is do I need an annulment to marry my fiancé in a Catholic church as that is her beliefs and its my honored to make that happen.

  58. hannah says

    Not that it matters anymore because it has been over 35 years ago. I am not catholic. The young man that I married was. We were married in my church by my minister and we were married a little over 2 years. I let my eyes wander and starting have a crush on a co worker to the point that I divorced my husband just so that I could start dating this other man. Although I never cheated on my husband I know my heart was as guilty as if I had. two years later I regretted it and asked him to take me back. We had no children. He told me that he would take me back in a heartbeat but that he had met someone else and would not do to her what I had done to him. I moved on & remarried but could not put him out of my mind. my 2nd husband did not take care of his family. I divorced the 2nd husband as well after 10 years. we had 4 children together & my first husband married the other woman & they have 2 children. I remained single after the 2nd divorce for what is now is over 22 years. I have often thought about what God expects from me and how my first husband was able to remarry. How could he get an annullment if we entered into the marriage willingly, both of us baptized in our religions? I have the weight of the world on my shoulders because I had no cause to leave him in the first place. I do not have this concern for my 2nd husband and can’t understand why. Can I be forgiven for all this? and am I still married to my first husband in God’s eye along with the 2nd wife? this is all so confusing to me, even after all these years

  59. teresa says

    I live in Zimbabwe and was married in the church to a baptised Anglican and in our 18th year he moved out and we lived separately for 2 years before seeking civil divorce. We have 2 children. He terrorized the children and finally beat our daughter so badly she needed medical attention. He felt that I was disloyal to him in favour of the children. As parents, isn’t it our obligation to protect our children and not be the ones they have to be protected from? He moved out shortly after the beating. Do I have grounds for an annulment or special dispensation to remarry in the church?

  60. Lisa says

    I am a Catholic and so is my husband……we have been separated for 2 years and I am seeking a divorce. I do not believe an annulment is possible as we were both willing when we got married. I am in another relationship and know I will not be able to take communion and will be considered an adulterer if I remarry but will the Catholic Church turn their back on me or will I still be able to attend Church?

    • says

      Hi Lisa. I am sorry to hear about your situation. The Church isn’t turning its back on you, rather it appears that you are making a conscious choice to be in a relationship with another man while knowing you are currently married and under the assumption that it is a sacramental marriage. I would urge you to speak with your parish priest to explore the annulment process and receive appropriate pastoral direction.

  61. Arik says

    Dear Jon

    I live in Israel. I met a Filipino catholic woman and we are already living together for eight years. at the time we’ve met she was married and till today her husband in philippines does not want to give her an annulment. Today she wants truly and deeply to convert to Judaism. Which makes my happy.
    My question is – will her conversion to judaism be helpful in her divorce? Will she still be considered catholic by Catholic church after completing conversion to Judaism? will all the catholic marital laws be void in her case?
    Thank you. Arik

    • says

      Hi Arik. Your situation is very complex and I am not qualified to speak to most of it. What I can say is that baptism leaves an indelible mark on the soul, meaning a permanent mark that never goes away. Learn more about the Catholic sacrament of baptism. Once a person is baptized they are always a Christian.

      With all due respect, what is perplexing from a Christian perspective is why someone would convert to Judaism. As Christians we believe that Jesus is God’s new covenant, foretold in the Hebrew texts. A rejection of Jesus is very serious matter. Her situation is very complex and I recommend discussing it with a Catholic priest.

  62. JJ says

    I am catholic divorced for 5 years – annulment granted earlier this year (was a long process) I did not date until annulled and met someone right away. He is a divorced non-catholic (was married in las vegas). Our relationship is developing – if marriage is in future -can I be blessed and still maintain catholic faith

  63. Frank says

    I married a Russian woman in Russia at a Russian Orthodox church, without consent from the Church. I am Catholic, she “my wife”, isn’t later I find out my wife isn’t even Russian Orthodox, Father of my parish says the marriage don’t exist I have two daughters eight and ten, and my wife and I can’t get along anymore at all. what should I do?

  64. says

    I AM A CATHOLIC,WAS MARRIED THEN DIVORCED. I DID RECEIVE AN ANNULMENT. I AM NOW ENGAGED TO A NON-CATHOLIC BAPTIZED CHRISTIAN MAN. WE HAVE MET WITH A PRIEST AND HE EXPLAINED THAT MY FIANCE NEEDS TO HAVE HIS PRIOR MARRIAGES (HE HAS BEEN MARRIED TWICE) ANNULLED BEFORE WE CAN MARRY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. I HAVE A TWO FOLD QUESTION 1. WHY 2. WHAT HAPPENS IF HIS ANNULMENTS ARE NOT GRANTED.

  65. Dawn says

    I have a friend who was a non practicing catholic who married outside the church and then divorced. He now wants to marry a widowed Catholic..does he need an annulment?

    • filmel says

      yes, and more. He must talk to a priest . marrying outside the church; getting divorced; are all subject to a priest discerning if orig marriage was with a baptized person, and what are his intentions with this widowed practicing?catholic person; a marriage of faith or a marriage of convenience?
      The morals of this nation are become more liberal with a whats in it for me, but the Church remains steadfast in its dogma, and tradition.. see a priest..

  66. DELLA WEBLEY says

    i married a man from jamaica who was still married to a woman from england but i had no idea at the time he was still married he told me he got a divorce. anyhow he got divorced during out marriage and we had to marry again but i never divorced him…am i legally married to him even though we did not divorce

  67. Jack says

    Hi,

    I am not Catholic, I was raised protestant. I am recently divorced. I did not want the divorce to begin with. I have two children with my ex. A couple years ago we hit a rough spot and she ended up leaving me for someone else.

    There have been times in the post couple years where we have almost reconciled but basically because of trust issues on both sides and both dating at various times we haven’t. I personally do love her and wish that somehow we would.

    Anyways, my ex recently converted to catholicism. Today I found out she had been in the process of seeking an annulment. You would think that after going through an excruciating divorce that finding this out wouldn’t hurt so bad, but it really does. Most of our marriage was pretty good, and from what I understand is this is saying that it was all invalid?

    I guess what I would like to know is what can I expect? Any other advice? I have told her that I am very hurt by this and this is not what I wanted and reiterated that I didn’t want this divorce either.

    • filmel says

      You were blessed with two children that will not disappear when and if she receives an annulment through the church. She converted to catholicism, and she remains a divorced catholic w/ two kids..
      An annulment sounds like she has plans to remarry someone perhaps.

    • Mike says

      Keep hope Jack! Rest assured you will be involved in the annulment process. As long as you would like to reconcile a sacramental marriage, I can not imagine any Catholic Church granting an annulment! Most likely they will recommend she come together with her priest, and work with you both at reconciling your differences so the two of you can live out your covenant in a christian manner. I’d love to know if you have an update!

  68. Ellen says

    Hi. My fiancé was married in a civil service and divorced after his ex left him for another man. He was never baptized but now wants to be baptized catholic. Can he do so and will he now be able to marry me in a catholic church?

    • michael says

      I am british and devorced in London,I am now in Philippines and in process of getting married to my philippineo girlfriend.we have all the paper work and license’s,we have also done seminar in the church.But the church missed the interview with the bishop.We had interview last and he refused us to marry.All the organising has been done (everything for the big day) I also paid the bills,so now I lost all my money and we can not marry.Why do thy ask for my devorce paper’s if thy mean nothing in the church? I am so mad with the church now,it is turning me away from the church.

  69. Amy says

    I have been married for 15 years. We were married in the catholic church, however my husband converted 5 years ago. At the time he converted, he confessed to me that he has was molested as a child and has been addicted to pornography since a young adult. Now, he no longer believes in his conversion, does not believe he was of sane mind when he married me, and he only dated me, due to all this, our marriage shouldn’t be considered valid. I am not giving up on our marriage, we have 3 kids, and i believe in the commitment i vowed on our wedding day. I think he is finding ways to get out of the marriage. Would there be grounds for annulment, as he thinks? Thank you and please pray for us.

    • filmel says

      do not give up on your marriage. His grounds for an annulment are weak at best. Take him by the hand an lead him to a priest or marriage counsoler.

  70. Stacy payne says

    I am Catholic and was widowed at age 44. My fiancé was divorced but was married in a courthouse. Is that recognized as a marriage and will he need to seek an annulment before we can be married in the church? If so, and we opt to marry outside of the church, can we have the marriage blessed later? Or, will they only bless it with an annulment?

    • filmel says

      legal marriage…was either or baptized in any faith? If you marry outside the church, you are commiting a serious sin upon consummation of such marriage. Whats wrong with going the annulment route…See a priest.

  71. Trees says

    I am a practicing catholic & living with my partner. I have never been married. My partner is a Catholic & was married in the Catholic church. He & his wife decided to separate. She applied for a divorce. I desperately want to do Gods will but feel I am living in mortal sin. Do I have to just up & leave to avoid living in mortal sin? Am I living in mortal sin since it was their decision & not mine to separate?

    • says

      Hello! Thanks for reaching out. Your partner is still considered married until granted an annulment. While living together isn’t a sin in and of itself it could lead to near occasions of sin meaning that you are walking a fine line. If you are having sexual relations with him it is called adultery. It may be best to live separately to protect yourself and your partner from sin until he is free to marry again (provided the current marriage is annulled). I strongly recommend confession to get additional advice from a priest who can counsel you best on your situation. God bless.

  72. Abigail says

    Hi Jon. :)
    I am extremely confused. I am newly Catholic, and currently engaged to a Catholic man, and trying to plan our wedding. I was married years ago, in a civil ceremony, to an un-baptized atheist, while I had never been baptized. We were divorced legally in 2006. The diocese here keeps insisting I need an annulment before my fiancé and I can be married in the church. Why is this the case?
    Thank you for your assistance! God bless!

    • says

      Hi Abigail. Being that I am by no means an expert, that you and your former spouse were not baptized when married it seems peculiar to me that you would need an annulment. Has the diocese given a reason? Are they simply looking at the fact that you are now baptized and extending that to your previous marriage?

      • Abigail says

        Recently, the diocese lost the individual in charge of such cases. I’m assuming that they’re just being super cautious, crossing t’s and dotting i’s. I just want to be able to marry my fiancé the correct way, in the church, without unnecessarily disturbing painful memories.
        Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

        • filmel says

          Your intention is forthright… there are other parishes with the proper tribunals to straighten this out close by… use them, give them the circumstances and go with the knowledge that if you are a convert and not because you want to marry a catholic.. it will greatly weigh in your favor.

      • Mike says

        Because the church assumes ALL marriages are valid, even those between Unbaptized persons. Both were not baptized at the time. Assuming she knew he was an atheist before, yet willingly agreed to marry, unless he initiated the divorce, the marriage may still be valid.

        1 Corinthians 7:10-17 on marriage to non-believers. This is why she needs to go through the annulment process to determine if the marriage is valid.

  73. says

    My husband was divorced when we got married. We applied for an annulment but were turned down at the time. His first wife has just recently died. My husband and I have been married 32 years and would like to have our marriage blessed. Since his first wife is deceased would we still have to go through the annulment process?

    • says

      Since she is deceased, I do not believe that your husband would have to try to receive an annulment. A marriage ends upon death. However, if your husband was still validly married to another woman while married to you then you have both committed adultery and would need to go to confession. When you meet with the priest to discuss the blessing of your marriage, be sure to give him all the details and he’ll work with you on the proper steps to move forward. God bless.

  74. says

    Hi.

    My boyfriend is married to the church of god denomination, then he is now divorce, and i am single roman catholic. can we get married in roman catholic?

  75. Brian says

    Hi,
    I am divorced 6 years now but we never got an annulment and i would like to marry my current partner very soon. My ex wife has remarried already 5 yrs now as a and to a pentacostal christian. Is it ok for me to remarry or how can i marry a single Russian Orthodox person. Will i have to change my religion to marry in a church. I do not have the money for the annulment.

  76. Comfort says

    My husband and I have been seperated for six years. We are not divorced. Can the church grant an annulment while we are legally married to each other? If No please what are the reasons?

  77. Alicia says

    My boyfriend was married in a non Catholic Church, divorced several years ago, but his previous marriage was not annulled. We want to get married next year and I have never been married. Would we be able to marry in the Catholic Church? And would our marriage be valid if he’s divorced but I have never been married?

    • says

      He should discuss his previous marriage with a priest to determine what needs to happen with respect to an annulment and then you will have your answer. God Bless.

  78. Valerie says

    Hi Jon can u help.What about a catholic couple who received the sacrament of marriage,got divorce legally,and wants to remarry in the church again.Thanx.

    • says

      Hi Valerie. Do you mean that the couple wants to re-marry each other? If so, and there was never an annulment, then they are technically still married in the Church. If they want to marry other people then they need to go through the annulment process to determine if they have a valid sacramental marriage or not.

  79. says

    I was married in catholic church and met all requirements for a valid catholic marriage.(both of us) She was unfaithful and wanted a divorce …I told her that she had to do the divorce (civil) as I cannot break my vows. So she did. I have not remarried and consider myself still married after 20 + years…I have received communion since..am I wrong to do this? I do not believe I have done anything wrong…I am still faithful to my marriage and God….but is having communion wrong…Am I doing the right thing?
    thank you

    • says

      Hi Steve. From how you describe it, it sounds like you are doing the right thing. You are not the one committing adultery. I pray that God will continue to give you his strength to live in his grace during such a challenging experience. God bless.

  80. concerned person says

    My question is if a person gets raped/molested by a Catholic church members husband can the wife file for a divore/annulment after finding out what he husband has done to a person under the legal age to consent to a sexual act I am now 26 years old it happend when I was 13 the husband and wife no longer live together and I just wanna know the answer to this question so please answer ASAP

  81. Audrey says

    Hi,
    We were married in a civil ceremony and were married by a reverend. Is it considered a sacramental marriage?

  82. john says

    If I am divorced can I still receive communion?
    Since divorce is a grave offense against nature, if you are the one perpetrating the divorce than you would objectively be in a state of mortal sin (full knowledge) and could not receive Communion. What do you think, Jon?

  83. Michael J. says

    Hi Jon,
    I was not raised Catholic but am now interested in learning about Catholicism and have been reading more about it online. I left the faith I was raised in (Baptist) in my teen years. I am now in my 40s and divorced after after a 13 year marriage. We were married by a Baptist minister though neither of us were religious or practicing members of any church when we married. If I were to convert to Catholicism would I be able to remarry?
    Thanks,
    Michael

    • filmel says

      If both parties were baptized in any faith…If you were to convert,you still must obtain an annulment.

    • Mike says

      Sorry to disagree with you Jon. But that is most certainly not correct. ALL marriages are assumed to be Valid in the eyes of the church! She would have to prove her marriage was invalid in order to be able to re-marry. Based solely on the circumstances she described above, her previous marriage would not qualify for annulment.

      Catholics believe that marriage between baptized Christians is a sacrament, regardless of the denomination of the spouses. The Church understands that marriage takes place when two persons exchange consent through wedding vows according to the norms of their own faith tradition. In fact, the Church believes that even marriages involving unbaptized persons come into existence with the exchange of vows according to their beliefs and practices.

      For the marriage bond between husband and wife to be established by God, the couple have willing consented to be joined in marriage. They must know what marriage is and they must intend the marriage to be lifelong. They must also have the physical and psychological ability as well as the personal maturity to follow through on what they have intended.

      When all of the above factors are brought together, a sacramental, indissoluble union is established by God. The Catholic Church recognizes, respects, and presumes this type of enduring marriage bond between persons of any faith background (and in a similar way between unbaptized persons), even if the civil government, because of divorce, no longer recognizes that a marriage exists. This is why the Church respects your previous marriage, even though you are not a Catholic. Converting to Catholicism does not change this.

      Without an annulment she would not be able to remarry. Try to remember the marriage covenant between man and woman, is meant to parallel our covenant with Christ.

      For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Divorce is not forgiveness.

  84. jb says

    Hi Jon,
    I have a question. My husband and I of 22 years are seeking a separation/divorce. (still in early stages)
    We agreed and got married in MY church, the Presbyterian Church. His priest did not attend, even tho was invited. We signed a form, I think called a form of despensation, which promised we would raise our children RC (which we have done). I understand this form also ‘recognized our marriage’ by the Catholic Church. Do we in any way have to notify both churches, once divorced, or does my spouse have to seek an annulment in order to potentially re-marry? Thanks

  85. says

    Since the RC Church recognizes the existence of the Anglican Communion which uses the NT to formulate its theology
    What would happen if a person married in the Anglican Communion gets a divorce and one then enters the R Church, will she be allowed to remarry in the RC Church. If so I find this hypocrisy because since the Anglicans use the NT Mark says No in Ch 10 8-9 to divorce. Apparently this can happen in the RC Church under the Pauline Privilege. I think it is contradictory. Please Jon answer this question

    • says

      Hi Irfan. I wish I knew the answer, but this matter is beyond my area of expertise. My educated guess would be that the person would need to seek an annulment, which determines whether a sacramental marriage had happened, before marrying in the Catholic Church, but I’m knowledgeable enough about the intricacies of such a situation.

  86. Alicia says

    If a Catholic gets married outside of church and gets divorce, then was the marriage invalid or does it still need to get annulled before remarrying in a Catholic church?

  87. Jenny Watson says

    So rather people are divorced or annulled, after having sex with one person, it is a sin to have sex with another – an annulment only gets someone “out of a marriage” and not the act of having sex – so technically, you get once chance to do it right – if you have sex after an annulment, you are a sinner everytime you have sex with someone else – so, bottom line, until your spouse dies, you cannot have sex with anyone else

    • says

      Not true. An annulment means that the marriage never happened; i.e. you never had a spouse. Therefore if you never had a spouse you would not be committing adultery with another person to whom you are married post-annulment.

      • Jenny Watson says

        I know that I am being difficult but: So if I never had a spouse, did I have sex out of wedlock – then after the annulment, I am a virgin? What about Gail’s question with children – the couple had sex, had kids then an anulment – did the kids not happen?

    • filmel says

      sex outside the marriage state is sinful,,whether divorced,single,or traveling in a circus or what have you.

  88. Gail says

    Hi,, If my husband who is also Catholic, was previously married (as he was )) we have since married after his divorce. Asked for an anullment of his previous marriage , and that is to say the marriage never happened would not his children by that marriage be seen as Illigitimate?? he wants to take communion
    Thank You

    • filmel says

      The children have nothing to do with the annulment..they were born whilst he was married to previous wife; however he cannot receive the sacrement of communion until after his annulment. He is living in sin.

  89. JOSHUA NYATEPE says

    how long must a baptized catholic who has now become a widow wait to remarry. after the deceased catholic spouse?

  90. Lori says

    I was married in the Catholic church in 1988 and divorced in 2001. I remarried without an annulment in the Greek Orthodox church last November. My new husband is Greek Orthodox. Is it still possible to get an annulment in the Catholic church so that I may receive communion again? My ex husband has since become a Jehovah’s Witness

    • filmel says

      anything is possible,keep the hope alive.. I am surprised you were married in greek orthodox church without an annulment..
      check with a priest at you place of worship..get the ball rolling..communion is worth the effort.

  91. Rae says

    My first marriage was a in a Catholic Church. We divorced 5 yrs later and I’ve been single since a few years ago. I remarried-civil. I finally received my final decision from the Tribunal and my first marriage was granted invalid. Can I now receive communion?

      • Chev says

        Hi Jon,

        This is in reference to your discussion above “If I am Catholic and divorced can I get remarried?” and Rae’s post. If the guy’s first marriage was in a Catholic Church and he’s been divorced from his first wife a long time ago, can he remarry in civil rites? Or does he need to get a “civil annulment” first before he can remarry in civil rites? If he has been granted a “civil annulment” from his first marriage, would that mean that he won’t be committing adultery anymore and can receive communion?

    • Jackie says

      I was married in the church at eighteen to a man with an IQ of 70. I didn’t know about his IQ. The priest didn’t want to marry us but the bishop overruled. He was physically and mentally abusive and after 27 years he injured me badly and we divorced. We have three grown children. I want to marry a man who was previously married in a church. It was his ex wife’s second church marriage with no annulment. He was married in themethodist church. Can we be married in the church?

  92. jmant3s says

    Hello Jon, when filling out forms for new parishioner at my new parish office I was stumped by a question, “Marital Status”. I was granted an annulment a few years ago but don’t know if my status is single, divorced or annulled, what is the proper designation? I eventually plan on having my wedding ceremony in this church as well as future sacraments for myself, daughter and fiancee.

    • says

      An annulment essentially means that a sacramental marriage never happened. If it was me, I would put single. Certainly when you plan to begin the process for marriage you would need to disclose your annulment at that time, but it’s not necessary for registration with the parish.

  93. PJ Saaenz says

    I am going through a divorce (my husband asked for it). Can I still receive communion even after the divorce as long as I don’t remarry? Thank you.

  94. emilia holcomb says

    i married a man that coud not have , or do sex, so i divorce him, now do you think that i will never be able to remarrie a nother man////

  95. Jackie Akinyi says

    Hello,i am dating an Italian man and we are getting serious however am not catholic but he is and he is also divorced,i wanna know if its possible to wed in another faith and will the marriage be legal?

    • jo says

      If a person has an annulment can he/she marry someone of a different faith who is divorced? Or does the person of the other faith have to get a divorce also in order for it to be a blessed marriage the Catholic church?

  96. Samuel Abraham says

    I married about 14 years ago, an anonymous caller called to say the child I claim to be mine is not mine.I reported to the Police to fish out the culprit. For one year there was no headway. Just recently my wife said she has been carrying an IUD without knowing. Is it possible? I am confused. My blood pressure has written to 150/100. It is not good for my health. Can appy for annulment or separation?

    • says

      Hi Samuel. While I am not qualified to answer specific questions about IUD’s or other contraceptive methods, it is best to consult with your parish priest regarding the annulment process. If you do not belong to a parish try calling the office of the parish church near you. I will pray for you.

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