Non-catholic marriage/divorce


I was wondering if a non-Catholic marriage ending in divorce is still considered adultery for the person who divorces the other person?



Non-Catholics can validly contract marriage. If two non-Catholics marry and then divorce, they are not free to marry another. If that is what you’re asking about adultery.

Divorce itself is not adultery. They would be called to live singly.



Even the person who was wronged with divorce needs to live singly?



Yes, unless the marriage is determined to be null by the church.

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Yes. Marriage is for life. Unless the marriage was invalid, due to an impediment or a defect, then both parties have committed for life.

Marriages between the unbaptized may be dissoluble.

This is a matter that you need to speak to a priest about if you are one of the parties involved.



If two people are both non-Catholic and marry then divorce they are still bound by the sacred bond of marriage. Neither are free to marry another. Divorce only resolves civil issues such as the division of assets, custody of minor children, etc. It does not break the bond of marriage.

Obviously, while it would be a sin for either to remarry, as non-Catholics I suspect they will not concern themselves with what we know to be the truth.



Thanks. then I am a bit confused about a civil marriage not being valid in the eyes of God and so the sexual relations within the marriage are considered sin.



A Catholic must marry according to the laws of the Church as well as secular laws. A valid Catholic marriage must take place in Catholic form or the Catholic must have a dispensation from form.

Non-Catholics marry validly when they marry civilly. There is no church teaching that civil marriages are not valid in the eyes of God. They certainly are.

Only when one of the parties are Catholic must they also follow the Church’s requirements for marriage as well as the civil requirements.



Yes, they do. Divorce is a civil matter. It enables the couple to live apart and to deal with things like division of assets and to change their status in civil law, say for tax purposes. The Church accepts this as necessary if two people can no longer live together. For example, their poor relationship may be harming the children and so separation may be best. Divorce is permitted so the couple can deal with the matters I have described.

However, the couple remain married as far as the Church is concerned. The only way to deal with that is to seek an annulment. The Church is not interested in the blame game, only with whether a valid marriage took place.


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