This is kind of a weird situation, and I’m hoping someone can help me as to the status of something like this because I’m way out of my depth in the civil area and ecclesiastical area of law. My friend is only a partially practicing Catholic, so I know he doesn’t see any need to talk to a priest about this. Here’s all the info I have:
My Catholic friend knew a woman that got pregnant around 1997-98, and her boyfriend ran off and left her during the pregnancy. This woman didn’t have any money or insurance or anything. My friend was in the military at the time. Since he was good friends with this woman, he wanted to make sure was able to have her baby in a hospital with all the care she would need.
He and this woman (who I believe is also Catholic) went to a JOP and had a marriage ceremony. He told me all that was required to get her what she needed for the baby was to show the marriage license to whoever needed to see it. Neither party intended for it to be a real marriage. My friend said that he never filed the marriage license, because after 90 days unfiled it became void and since they never intended to be married in the first place that was the intended outcome. She has since gotten married to someone else.
SO, what I need to know is if anyone can tell me if what they did counted as an actual marriage that would need a declaration of nullity by the Church? He is interested in this lady at the moment who is Catholic and if they shouldn’t be seeing each other I would like to be able to let them know so they aren’t committing adultery.