Annulment.

I’ve met a Roman Catholic woman who was married in the Protestant Church, and is now divorced. Before I get involved, does the Catholic Church require that she get and annulment?

She would need to speak to her priest.

Quite possibly the marriage was invalid since it didn’t take place according to Catholic form, but a priest can help guide the two of you. At the very least there will be documentation to produce and he will know what you need.

generally, yes. but try not to get inovlved until she does get it though. not everyone can get an annulment so please don’t just assume it’s going ot happen. it is evaluated on a case by case basis. talk to your priest for sure, he will know more

Depends on whether she was Catholic when she was married and if a dispensation was received. If neither, then it is quite possibly invalid.

But yes, she needs to talk to her priest. I would recommend her to file for an annulment anyway.

Yes, she would have to apply for an annulment. The Church recognizes marriages performed outside the Church as valid unless one of the spouses was Baptized Catholic and did not get a dispensation to marry outside the Church.

Have you spoken to her about having the marriage annulled? It is a long process and if the two of you are hoping to marry one day she should get the process started as soon as possible. Where I live it takes approximately 12-18 months, some places take longer. There is also no guarantee an annulment will be granted, but your priest should be able to hear the details of the marriage and be able to tell you if it is likely or not.

She is not required to get an annulment just because she is divorced. It is only required if she wants to marry. That being said I wouldn’t suggest dating her until her previous marriage is investigated and been found invalid. Until that time treat her as you would any other married woman. If the Church presumes her marriage to be valid then so should you until it is shown to be otherwise.

I agree. It really depends on the situation. If she was Catholic at the time of the marriage and a dispensation was given, then it would be a formal trial of nullity. If she was not, then it would a canonical lack of form, which is quicker, compared to the formal trial. I would recommend asking a priest or someone at the parish who submits the annulment petitions.

Also, would this be your first marriage or do you already have an annulment? If not, then you would need a case to be opened as well.

I am single; never married.

Both of them are Catholic; it was his second marriage and her first. While he was willing to go through the annulment process, she felt doing so would invalidate his children. So, she choose to marry outside the Catholic Church.

I’m just trying to figure out if her marriage is invalid.

I realize that annulment is only an issue if she wants to remarry. But for me, I don’t even want to begin something until the necessary steps to be taken are clear.

Hmm, perhaps you need to further discern a relationship with a woman who willingly entered an invalid marriage and seems to not understand Church teaching on marriage.

Yes, this was an invalid attempt at marriage.

She would need to submit an administrative paperwork case regarding lack of form to be declared free to marry (assuming this is a US or Canadian resident).

The US church would require such paperwork prior to advancing the premarital process.I realize that annulment is only an issue if she wants to remarry. But for me, I don’t even want to begin something until the necessary steps to be taken are clear.

I would suggest she complete the paperwork process and be declared free to marry before you consider dating her.

But of bigger concern is her willingness to contract an invalid marriage committing adultery with a married man and marrying outside the Church.

Has she reconciled with the Church over these matters?

Question belongs in liturgy and sacraments.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.