A young woman was coerced into marriage before being allowed to return to the US from Morroco. Once back in the US, she never lived with her husband. She was a baptized Lutheran who has since become a Catholic. He was a non-practicing Muslim. The marriage was a civil ceremony. Four years have past and a civil divorce has recently occurred. Might these circumstances have grounds for annulment?
It sounds as though this marriage may not have been valid due to the coercion you describe. Code of Canon Law (CIC) states, “No marriage can exist between a man and a woman who has been abducted or at least detained with a view of contracting marriage with her unless the woman chooses marriage of her own accord after she has been separated from the captor and established in a safe and free place” (CIC 1089). Also, “A marriage is invalid if entered into because of force or grave fear from without, even if unintentionally inflicted, so that a person is compelled to choose marriage in order to be free from it” (CIC 1103).