Re-marriage to First Wife


This is actually a question I have for my parents.

Very short background. Parents are both Catholic and were married in the Catholic Church. About ten years ago got a divorce and over time my Father got re-married. Recently there has been talk of them getting back together due to my Father and current wife having issues, from both his wife and him.

On to the question. If my father divorced his civily married wife and wanted to “re-marry” my mother would they have to go through an annulment and re-marry in the Catholic Church? I have this question because as I see it they are still concidered marry by the Catholic Church and he is in an adultrous situation.

Thanks in advance.


If they wanted to get back together, I would definitely recommend they speak to their priest about it before assuming anything. :wink:


I totally agree. I was more curious then anything. Being that he is not concidered married to his current wife by the Church.


They should of course seek counseling both from a marriage counselor and from a priest to assess whether it is prudent for them to get back together. You father would have to provide divorce decrees etc for the legal side of things . You are right though, the church assumes a valid marriage for your parents unless proven otherwise. They don’t have to have a church ceremony. Just the legal one for civil benefits.


:yup: Even thought the Church considers them married, there could be some issues that would be easier to work on while they are still living apart. And if there is some reason why the Church would think they really shouldn’t be together then better to learn this ahead of time.



I would recommend that they speak to a Priest who would be able to give them the correct guidance & direction.


An annulment from whom? Your mother? Or the current wife? You are not clear here.

If he received a decree of nullity from the marriage to your mother and then married his current wife in the Church, then yes he needs a decree of nullity before he can marry anyone else.

If neither he nor your mother ever pursued a decree of nullity in the Church, and he is married civilly outside the Church, then no there is no decree of nullity. They would need to discuss their desire to reconcile with their pastor, and they would need a civil ceremony to be legally married.


What does your Mother have to say about this? Yes they should talk to a priest if and when they do decide to “try again”. 10 years is a long time to piece things back together. I would be very careful if I were her and move very slowly. But if the day ever comes, they may not have to get remarried but they could renew their wedding vows. That would be nice and stop any gossip God Bless, Memaw


This is just a side note but if they believe in divorce then they are incapable of reception of the Sacrament of marriage at all and as long as they believe this idea. Marriage is either a life long Sacramental bond or it is not.

It is my opinion if they believed in divorce then neither of them has ever been married. A sacrament like marriage, confession, holy orders cannot be received by people who do not accept their purpose. A man who has no intention of doing what the church does cannot become a priest no matter what ceremony is performed the same is true for marriage.

You do not have to be in a state of grace but you must believe in the Sacrament and the bonds of marriage to be married in the eyes of God.


The original church marriage of the father to the OP’s mother is putatively valid. It is not for you to speculate on its invalidity based on some alleged component of their consent. It is valid and it will stay that way, unless they decide to pursue a tribunal decision that it is not.


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