Is my marriage valid? Please advise

This is my first time posting, I hope I have the right topic.

I am currently in RCIA, as I was baptized Catholic as a baby, but never completed the sacraments. I hope to complete Easter 2020. My concern is that I was married in a Methodist Church to man who was never baptized and was once divorced. Does the fact that he wasn’t baptized and/or that his first marriage was never annulled invalidate our marriage?

As you are currently in RCIA, you should speak to your priest as soon as possible to see what he thinks you should do.


As a Catholic (which you are by virtue of your baptism) you were and are bound by Church law on marriage as well as divine law. As a Catholic, you were bound to marry in Catholic form or receive a dispensation from form. If you didn’t do so, then the attempt at marriage would not be considered valid.

Since your intended has a prior bond he was not free to marry anyone else and that would need to be reviewed and dealt with. Lastly since he is unbaptized, that also would have and does require a dispensation from disparity of cult from your bishop.

So right now there are three things impeding valid marriage: the form, the disparity of cult, and his prior bond. The first two are easily corrected, but first his prior bond must be dealt with.

Next step is for both of you to sit down with your pastor and get the ball rolling.


Thank you for the information. We are actually divorced and I am trying to figure out if I should have the marriage invalidated or annulled. I am not in a relationship or looking to remarry anytime soon. I just want to get my life straight with God and live according to the precepts of the Catholic Church. I was actually surprised that the Church recognized this marriage and equally surprised that they do not recognize our divorce. I was not educated on Catholicism growing up, but have learned so much in past few months! I will seek the help of my priest and see what he recommends. Thank you again for clarifying my situation.

I see.

So, there is no marriage to petition for a decree of nullity.

What you can do is discuss documenting your freedom to marry. You do this by submitting your marriage license and divorce decree and some paperwork to the diocese (if you are in the US). Since you were not married in the Catholic Church there is no presumption of validity. It’s just a paperwork process.

You don’t have to do this right now, but you can. You would need this if you ever pursue marriage in the future.

The Church does not recognize this as a valid marriage, not sure what gave you that impression.

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If you hadn’t been baptized in the Catholic Church that would be the case. The Church recognizes non-Catholic marriages as valid and the Church essentially doesn’t recognize divorce as having any impact on the reality of the marriage bond.

Of the 3 impediments (lack of form, disparity of cult, and prior bond), the first 2 only apply to Catholics as they are ecclesiastic law. The 3rd for prior bond is part of natural law and applies to all people regardless of religion.


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