Is a divorced Catholic required to have an annulment?

If two Catholics who were married within the Church divorce instead of work through their marital problems, are they required to come back together or to receive an annulment? Say one of these Catholics was not-practicing or secretly agnostic?

Dear Roman,

The Church allows civil divorce for the equitable division of the couple’s joint possessions. But it considers the marriage to still exist. It does not require the couple to live together again. There could be several factors that would make this undesirable. However, the Church rejoices when such a reunion can be accomplished.

Neither person is required to attempt at having the marriage annulled, unless he or she wants to marry again in the Catholic Church.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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