[quote="Ophelia23, post:1, topic:307460"]
I read through the Stickies on this subject, and have been looking through some of the websites that were given as references, but I am still struggling to find an answer.
A friend of mine was raised Catholic but was not committed to our Mother Church. About two years ago, she started really feeling the pull back into the Church. Her husband, who was not raised Catholic, was previously married twice before marrying my friend. He too is feeling the call to Catholicism, and they both are attending Mass regularly. I understand that to have their marriage validated by the Church, he must first annul his first Christian marriage. He was told by a priest that he also has to annul his second marriage.
My question is, wouldn't the second marriage be considered invalid already because the first was never annulled? Does he truly need to attain an annulment of both marriages?
The marriages must be looked at sequentially. If the first is declared invalid, then the second would be the de facto valid marriage unless proven that it too was invalid.
This is a complex case, as the husband has multiple marriage attempts, and we do not know about any other marriage attempts of those partners, nor their baptismal statuses.
Due to the complex nature of this, I suggest the friend and her husband simply go talk to their priest to start the process of the investigation. Through the investigation, many relevant facts will be gathered, and then the priest or the diocesan tribunal advocate will guide the couple as to the type of case(s) they may have (full nullity case, ligamen, lack of form, pauline/petrine privilege, etc).
But, bottom line, yes both marriages must be examined. He cannot claim Ligamen (prior bond) on the second marriage if he is seeking a declaration of nullity for the first marriage.