Got a question.
Here is the situation.
We have a Catholic married by civil authority, without a priest as a witness, to a baptized non-Catholic divorcée that never applied for an annulment. If they divorce, does the Catholic need to apply for an annulment?


I think you should ask an apologist.


My somewhat informed guess is that the marriage was invalid due to defect of form (Catholic in civil ceremony). The Catholic would need to petition the tribunal to declare no marriage occured.

But he should speak to his priest.


The Church assumes a union is valid unless proven otherwise. This is to safeguard the sacrament. Although this case sounds like a null marriage, the Catholic party in this situation cannot be his own judge. He should submit himself to a tribunal and to the tribunal’s findings.


Only if they want to possibly enter into another Marriage someday. If they intend to live as though they were single, no.


I’m no expert but since the marriage was clearly never recognized by the Catholic Church in the first place, it seems that it would already be null. I suppose if he tries to marry again in the Church he may run into trouble though if he doesn’t have an actual Declaration of Nullity… as others have said it’s probably best to consult with an expert. But instead of asking an apologist, I’d ask your priest what he thinks or call the diocese/archdioces and ask for an opinion from the chancery or marriage tribunal.


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