Obligation to remarry civilly?

I was hoping that someone could help me out with this, since I cannot get an appointment with a priest right now (they are all on holiday).

Before I converted to Catholicism, I married another Protestant in a civil ceremony. He made me promise that we would never have children. Neither of us were aware that openness to life was a prerequisite for a valid marriage at that time. However, after I converted to Catholicism, I became aware of the fact, and was worried about the validity of our marriage. My husband is still opposed to children. Though we have divorced and I have applied for an investigation of my marriage (based on the fact my husband doesn’t want children), we still live together. Until the Tribunal says otherwise, I consider myself married.

Even though my case sounds simple, I was told that there is a possibility that my marriage still might be found valid (the priest heading the Tribunal says that it is problematic that my witnesses did not know my husband prior to the marriage). If my marriage is valid, am I required to civilly remarry my husband?

I am confused.

There is no obligation to remarry civilly if no annulment is granted, only to not marry another.

There is no absolute requirement to do so. But, I think it depends upon the reason you divorced as to whether you have a serious obligation to attempt reconciliation.

You do not have any obligation to attempt reconciliation if there is a *valid *reason you divorced. Such as: abuse, neglect, unrepentant adultery on his part, or if he is hostile to the faith to the point it makes common life and the practice of your faith impossible.

Since you still live in the same household, it doesn’t seem that the common life is in a state that you need to be physically and legally protected from him. But I don’t know your circumstances (nor is there any reason to share them on this board).

Here are the relevant canons in canon law regarding separation while the bond remains (i.e. valid marriage):

Can. 1151 Spouses have the duty and right to preserve conjugal living unless a legitimate cause excuses them.

Can. 1152 §1. Although it is earnestly recommended that a spouse, moved by Christian charity and concerned for the good of the family, not refuse forgiveness to an adulterous partner and not disrupt conjugal life, nevertheless, if the spouse did not condone the fault of the other expressly or tacitly, the spouse has the right to sever conjugal living unless the spouse consented to the adultery, gave cause for it, or also committed adultery.

§2. Tacit condonation exists if the innocent spouse has had marital relations voluntarily with the other spouse after having become certain of the adultery. It is presumed, moreover, if the spouse observed conjugal living for six months and did not make recourse to the ecclesiastical or civil authority.

§3. If the innocent spouse has severed conjugal living voluntarily, the spouse is to introduce a cause for separation within six months to the competent ecclesiastical authority which, after having investigated all the circumstances, is to consider carefully whether the innocent spouse can be moved to forgive the fault and not to prolong the separation permanently.

Can. 1153 §1. If either of the spouses causes grave mental or physical danger to the other spouse or to the offspring or otherwise renders common life too diffcult, that spouse gives the other a legitimate cause for leaving, either by decree of the local ordinary or even on his or her own authority if there is danger in delay.

§2. In all cases, when the cause for the separation ceases, conjugal living must be restored unless ecclesiastical authority has established otherwise.

Can. 1154 After the separation of the spouses has taken place, the adequate support and education of the children must always be suitably provided.

Can. 1155 The innocent spouse laudably can readmit the other spouse to conjugal life; in this case the innocent spouse renounces the right to separate.

**You need to talk to your priest for pastoral guidance.

I have one very simple question to ask.
Is you husband willing to state for the tribunal that he was opposed to children at the time of the marriage, and continues to be so opposed? If he is, This should go a long way toward demonstrating to the tribunal that he was unable or unwilling to commit fully to marriage at the time.
I could be wrong, but…:shrug:


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