Prior To starting my journey into the Catholic Church I was a Pagan Of the ADF(Druid Organization) As well As an Active participant in Various Wiccan Covens in the area in which i lived. At Age 18 I met a Girl who i really liked and loved etc. Her and I quickly hit it off being that we were Both pagans and very involved in the pagan community. We Agreed to be Handfasted (Pagan Marriage) (Kinda) Our Ceremony was performed By an ArchDruid priestess and Was Legal Binding. After being Handfasted I Left a few months later to the Navy and the plan was she would join me after my training was complete. How ever she never came to join me.So I sought divorce and the marriage of Dissolved 7 months after it began. Was This Marriage Binding According to the Catholic Church? and does it need to be annulled? I understand it was Legally binding however In Pagan Religion Our Vows To Each other are not intended to bind us together for the entirety of our lives and according to the traditions we were apart of We were free to leave the relationship whenever we chose to. I ask this Because I now at age 24 I have found the Pure beauty of the Catholic church and wish to go through the RCIA this Year… I have spoken to other Catholics about this but they all seem to have differing answers. I understand what marriage is to the Catholic church but i dont believe my previous pagan marriage (handfasting) even falls into the definition of marriage.
The essential rule of thumb is that any marriage that is legally binding is presumed to be valid. When you say that the vows were “not intended to bind us together for the entirety of our lives”, that is is evidence that could be used to prove to a tribunal that the presumed valid marriage is in fact invalid. So yes, you do need an annulment or a Pauline Privilege in order to be married again in the Church.