Annulment

I’m confused about Annulments. Can someone explain to me when an annulment would be granted and when it would not?

For example, if two people were married and had four children, and divorced and the husband married someone else, would he be able to get an annulment for his first marriage?

Thank you!

Not talking about myself – in case anyone wondered! Married and never divorced… :slight_smile:

There is no set answer as there are many, many factors involved in an annulment (declaration of nullity), and each case is unique.

Have you tried doing a search for annulments. I know there are numerous answers in the “ask an apologist” section.

But the central question would be whether there was a valid, sacramental marriage in the first place.

GKC

If the marriage was between non-Catholics, and then The husband converted to Catholicism, would that indicate their marriage was not sacramental?

I am not sure. But I am inclined to think not necessarily.

GKC

The marriage wasn’t sacramental because sacramental marriage requires both parties to be Christian, this has no bearing on it being a valid marriage.

Two non Christians have a valid natural marriage

A marriage of one Christian and one non Christian is a valid natural marriage.

If two non Christians later become baptized their marriage becomes sacramental.

A marriage was either valid or invalid at it’s inception, nothing that happened after the fact changes that. A marriage tribunal determines if the marriage was valid at it’s inception or not.

All marriages are presumed to be valid unless proven otherwise. There are a variety of reasons why this may be.

Certain rules apply to Catholics that don’t apply to non Catholics. For example, Catholics are required to marry in the Church by a priest, unless they are granted a dispensation.

“A marriage was either valid or invalid at it’s inception, nothing that happened after the fact changes that. A marriage tribunal determines if the marriage was valid at it’s inception or not”.

Hence one speaks of a decree of nullity, not of an annulment of a marriage.

GKC

The conditions you mention above would have no effect on whether or not a decree of nullity could be granted.
What must be considered are the circumstances at the time of the first marriage.

In both marriages presented in the OP, it would likely be a “lack of form” case. They were not married in the Catholic Church and as such the marriage was not sacramental.
Assuming the divorce and remarriage occurred before his conversion, the husband and his second wife would need to look into annulling the first marriage and having their marriage convalidated by the Church.

As others have said there are many variables to be considered. Some cases are very straight forward. The ones you describe here would likely be such.
Other cases can be quite complicated.

Peace
James

Lack of form doesn’t apply to non Catholics. Two non Catholics are not required to get married in the Church by a priest. Additionally a marriage being sacramental has nothing to do with if it takes place in the church or not, but by the baptismal status of the parties involved. A sacramental marriage occurs anytime two baptized people validly get married.

Lack of form applies to Catholics who marry outside the church, without a dispensation.

Thank you for the correction.
Sorry to have spread inaccurate information. :blush:

I will bow out and allow other more knowledgeable folks deal with the question.

Peace
James

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