My Muslim friend asked this question below based on various info, also below, that i shared with him. It seems an annulment doesn't affect the legitimacy of children, but only the spiritual aspects of the marriage. Please better help my friend and I understand. It seems I might be a little unclear myself.
Please also define what a legitimate child means before the eyes of God and before the eyes of the state. I think the latter is CONCEIVED? or BORN? in or out of wedlock? And all children are legitimate before God, since even as a man and a woman partake in the creation of a child out of wedlock (willingly or unwilling, in the case of rape), it is only because God willed that child into creation that the child exists. Correct?
Some comments from our discussion:
**ME: **It was while the parents had children during what they thought was a valid sacramental marriage before God that matters.
Remember, these aren't official words from official Church documents that I am sharing. I read a part? of a Canon document, but it didn't make too much sense to me. It is for Catholic Church Canon Lawyers to interpret.
FRIEND:** But Church doesnt say it was a marriage before & now its finished.
The Church says that marriage NEVER happened ! ! !
You CANT say both ! ! !
Either they were married at some point when they had kids so those kids cud be legal but if you say that marriage NEVER happened, then those kids can NEVER be legal as well ! ! !
"An annulment does not render children of the marriage illegitimate. They were born within a legal and putative (i.e., presumed valid) marriage. An annulment is a determination of the spiritual status of the marriage and the freedom of the spouses to marry in the Church. It does not in any way affect the children's legitimacy."-forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=17915
"Are My Children Illegitimate?:
"Are My Children Illegitimate If The Marriage Is Annulled, Father?"
I don't get asked this question very often because many people assume that they will be deemed so. This is not true! If one was ignorant of the impediment that was identified in an annulment the kids are considered legitimate by the Roman Catholic Church. In other words, if you did not know that there was something wrong with your previous marriage that would render it invalid, the offspring of that marriage are legitimate by Rome's reckoning. I submit that many (if not, most) of the people that marry believe that their marriage is perfectly valid. By Roman standards there are eleven (II) conditions or "impediments" that make a marriage invalid.
... Roman Cannon 1060
There may be many marriages that are invalid and the couple simply is not aware of it. Rome will assume that the marriage is valid unless it is proven to be otherwise..•. How does one prove that a marriage is invalid? Establish that there was an impediment."-catholicannulment.us/are_my_children_illegitimate.html