An annullment question


I posted yesterday but left out some details. So let’s try again.

  1. My sister married a Catholic man in the Catholic Church

  2. They divorced.

  3. My sister remarried without an annullment outside the Catholic Church to a nonbaptised, non Christian man in a civil ceremony with no priest or religious present.

  4. My sister divorced the second man.

  5. My sister’s first husband just got their marriage annulled.

  6. What does my sister have to do now to get the second marriage annulled in order to get married in the Catholic Church.


I’m pretty sure the second marriage, since it was not Sacamental(Matrimony) and since the first marriage was annulled she is good to go.

If however she has any minor kids, I would have to pull a Dr. Laura and say “Just refrain from any romantic relationships until they are up and out on their own”. Focus on that responsibility rather than on self.


Your sister should call her parish office and they will tell her exactly what to do. I am not certain, but I think she may need to request a “Decree of Nullity” for the second marriage. If so, this is a very simple matter in her case and it should take just a few weeks (or even just a few days) for her to receive the decree. We already know the marriage is null, so it’s not likely to require any investigation by the tribunal–they just may need to update her parish records to reflect that she is free to marry. At any rate, whoever is in charge of this aspect of pastoral care at her parish office will be able to guide her through this process.


Lest this advice be relayed to the lady in question, I would just like to add that the Catholic process of courtship (unlike secular dating) is extremely unlikely to result in any psychological damage to children of a former marriage. There is nothing selfish about a chaste and godly courtship.


True. however, if there are kids they too become attached to the other person(boyfriend etc.) and they experience the pain of losing that person if it doesn’t work out.(general instability that they don’t need).


You need to obtain a nullity decree for each and every attempt at marriage. Sometimes the proceeding is extremely simple: you show papers from a civil law court or magistrate or whatever person or office it is from, prove there was no religious marriage, that’s it. In case of non-sacramental marriages of Catholics, the proceeding is normally simplified like that.


Absolutely. Single parents should consider these kinds of factors in determining their approach to courtship, for sure.

Thanks for the charitable response, btw. :slight_smile:

I hope your sister will be helped by the information you’ve received, Steve Green. I’ll keep her intentions in my prayers.


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