Dating and legal seperation

Is it wrong in the eyes of the Catholic church to date a person who is legally separated but not yet divorced?

My understanding is, yes. In and out of the Church, dating someone who is legally separated is still dating someone who is legally married. Until the divorce is final, that person is someone else’s spouse.

Further, the soon-to-be divorcee needs time to be alone, without a partner, without dating to figure out what is going on, rather than jump from one marriage to another relationship.

I do not know if the Church has addressed this specific situation as the Church does not recognize that there is such a thing as divorce.

However, marriages are generally presumed valid by the Church (there are a few exceptions). Until a person receives a declaration of nullity, an annulment, they are considered married. Therefore dating a person who does not have a declaration of annulment is dating a person who may well be married in the eyes of the Church.

Aside form the moral aspects of that, a person who is merely separated may be on the emotional “rebound” from their marriage. Rebound relations are almost always failures. And painful ones at that.

Close, bot quite correct. The Church considers a person married if their spouse is till alive or if they have been granted an annulment by the diocesan tribunal. The Church does not recognize divorce in any manner.

Only single people (including those with annulments) and widows can marry.

Thanks for the clarification. I should have said that until the divorce is final and the marriage annulled by the Church…I don’t think a Catholic can consider a divorce final unless and until it has also been annulled by the Church.

Yes, it is wrong as this person is not free to date or marry.

yes because this person is still married unless and until the marriage is proven to be null through the canon law tribunal process of the diocese. you cannot date a married person, nor can you date a divorced person, because that civil action does not dissolve a valid marriage.

Someone who has been granted the Pauline or Petrine privilege can also marry. These people are still considered to be married to their prior spouse up until the exact moment when they become married to their new spouse.

Both Petrine and Pauline privileges are special ways in which an annulment may be granted.

An annulment, or declaration of nullity, is an official determination that a marriage was never valid right from the beginning.

The Pauline and Petrine privileges are different from an annulment, in that they dissolve a prior valid but non-sacramental marriage in favor of a new marriage.

The main way that the Pauline and Petrine privileges are similar to annulments is that the church rules about them are so utterly complicated that you need a tribunal to figure them out.

Yes. Definitely. Absolutely. Without a doubt. Not even worth discussing.

I know that there are a very few people (some who have posted on here) who have received annulments prior to being legally divorced. Those are usually cases where the marriage was so obviously invalid that there was no question.

In that case, it is moral. A good idea is a whole different question.

Yes yes yes it is wrong. You shouldn’t:shrug: date anyone who isn’t free to marry in the church or who is considered to married by the church…or might be possibly considered married by the church. :o :shrug:

In my diocese, a petition for annulment cannot be submitted until after the civil divorce is final. In other diocese, there is a waiting period (typically six months or a year) after the civil divorce is final before an annulment can be granted.

How about in this scenario…The man was married in the Catholic church, divorced (not annulled) and then remarried in a Christian marriage. He is now getting a divorce from the second invalid marriage and the first wife is deceased. Isn’t he technicallly a widow in the eyes of the Catholic Church…Not to mention the second marriage was not only invalid due to no annulment, but the soon-to-be-ex didn’t share with him that the pre-wedding councelor had told her that he wasn’t ready to marry because of unresolved issues from the first marriage. (This fact came out in marriage counceling a few years into the rocky marriage). Is he married or is he not married in the eyes of the Catholic Church?

This is adultery sweet heart. So sorry about this but yes it is a sin.

Consult with a priest

Blessings and love!

emmy, while this is an interesting topic, this thread is from 2008. As you are new here (Welcome!) you may want to read the rules for posting on the forums. They do like old threads to be dragged up. Please feel free to start a new thread, or search for a more current thread of the same topic (of which there are many. ;))

Bolding mine, I think that sentence should read: They do not like old threads to be dragged up. :smiley:

Oh the problems typos and missed words can cause. :rotfl:

Oops! You are correct! Thanks for that!!

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