RCIA and Annulment


Hello, I am thinking of starting RCIA soon, and one thing I came across said that people who have been divorced may have to get an annulment.

The circumstances of my divorce were chronic infidelity issues from my spouse, who chose to move out in 2001, and after six years of me waiting, we completed a divorce.

Also, neither one of us were Catholic at the time of our marriage in1985 and haven’t ever been, actually.

So my three questions are:

  1. Would I be required to get an annulment as part of RCIA?
  2. How long does that take, if so?
  3. Does it sound likely that I’d be able to get one/is it a traumatic process?..anyone who’s gone through it, I’d like to know how it is. :slight_smile:

Thank you for your help :cool: :slight_smile:


Hi there.

If you haven’t remarried, an annulment wouldn’t be required prior to being received into the Church.

It varies quite a bit for how long it will take. What is typical is 12 to 18 months. Could be more or less though. There is no way of knowing.

Talking to your priest would give you a better idea of what the process is like and whether it is likely you have a good case. If you have reason to believe that at the time your husband exchanged vows with you that he never intended an exclusive relationship, than yes you likely do have grounds. You’ll need to think of some people who could serve as witnesses who could give some insight into what was going on with both of you at the time that you married.

I am in the process now, waiting for a first instance decision. I would not say it is a traumatic process. It is hard to wait, but I am glad I had the chance to review all that transpired. I would say that it is a healing process.


Well, no, I haven’t remarried…so then I wouldn’t need an annulment? (She said hopefully. :wink: )

(Though I could sure produce testimony and show he never intended to be faithful…an easy chestnut.)

I’m great at waiting though, lol, I joke with God that I should have an Honorary PhD in Waiting. :smiley: But it’s been almost 7 years, and if I don’t have to go through the extra bother of re-hashing it, I’d rather not, just one more thing, you know…since I’ve had counseling, done repentance & soul searching w/ God, apologized to my ex for my part in the failure etc.

So anyway, the year or whatever it takes for RCIA, I can deal with that…probably a good idea given the seriousness of the commitment. I’d want to do it right.


What’s a first instance decision, BTW?

And thank you so much for replying to my post :thumbsup: I’ve been fretting about the question somewhat & it’s so helpful to have some help with it. :thumbsup:


I’d still recommend looking into an annulment if you think that there is any possibility that you might like to date or get remarried in the future…that way you know your status in advance.

I went through RCIA in 2000/2001, and I hope that you will love it as much as I did. :slight_smile:


What does it mean ‘know about your status in advance’? *looking quizzical

Yes, I might like to date and/or remarry.

I take it it’s not a traumatic process, just a time-ful one?


You asked if it was traumatic.

My husband went through the process in the late 1980s. He still had unresolved issues from his previous marriage.

Going through the process was great for him. The day he was scheduled to meet with the priest, he was scheduled for about an hour (I think)…anyway, it wasn’t supposed to be too long.

He ended up talking to the priest for several hours. When he left he called me and was postively jubilant. It was like the weight of all those issues was finally off his shoulders.

With chronic infidelity issues, my guess is your ex never intended to be faithful when he married you.

Good luck with RCIA.


Well, so that you know whether or not you are really still married. It would be no fun to get serious about someone only to find out that your previoius marriage was valid, and since it is rather time intensive, it is best to just get it out of the way in advance.

Here, take a look at this, for more info on the process:


It sounds like it could actually be a good process; I hadn’t really thought of it that way. :slight_smile:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.