Remarriage after Divorce

Hi all,

If a divorced baptised Christian remarries another baptised Christian, will they both be committing adultery and can the sin be repented of if they remain happily married? The fusrt marriage was valid without annulment.

What are the eternal consequences of such a relationship?


yes, it is a sin of adultery. and i don’t see how it can be repented of if they don’t stop doing it. in certain cases, the church grants an annulment based on the circumstances of the first marriage but for 2 baptized christians, this is difficult since they proably knew what they were doing. it must be evaluated on a case by case basis though

Objectively speaking, yes they are committing adultery. Their culpability will depend on various circumstances and whether or not they repent.

OK thanks.

How is the sin repented of? Is it OK to go to confession and repent of the sin but then to go back home and still be married?

Would repentance mean another divorce and separation. There are no grounds for annulling the first marriage.

Difficult but need to know.

Thanks again:)

When that wrongdoing is repented of they must no longer live as man and wife. One can’t go to confession and then right back into what they confessed.

I recommend you speak to a priest, even over the phone.


The Bible condemns divorce and remarriage.

OK thanks all.

I am in a similar situation. I was married, divorced, and remarried. The other posters are correct. If you divorced and remarried without an annulment through the Church you and your husband are committing adultery. Neither of you can receive the Sacraments unless you obtain an annulment or cease living as husband and wife and instead live as brother and sister.

Are you absolutely positive you cannot get the first marriage annulled? Have you spoken to a priest about the first marriage in detail and asked about having it annulled? If the priest you spoke to said it was not possible, did you consult with another priest or ask a canon lawyer? Priests are human and not infallible, so if one priest said annulment was not possible he could have been incorrect.

I have heard of instances where the couple has children and the spouses have been directed to go home but live as brother and sister. I think these are usually temporary arrangements though, for when one or both parties are seeking annullments. You should discuss it with a priest. Perhaps the marriage really can be annulled.

They can both go to Confession and thereafter live a life of continence.

I am sorry, I should clarify that it is not me who is going through this but my brother, sorry for any confusion.

He is marrying a divorced Christian next month, who was previously married to a non-Catholic protestant minister. Everybody is baptised although non-Catholic believers(at present, hence the inquiry, I can see how the Lord is leadng the whole family into the Catholic Church)

I have another question concerning my parents marriage and divorce.

My parents were both infant baptised in the Anglican church, mom went to church her whole life, but my Dad never did. So both baptised, but neither had a saving faith in Christ.
They were married in the Anglican Church, then had me and my brother and were divorced by the time I was about 4.

Mom re-married within a few years and has been together with her new husband for nearly 30 years.

She had a conversion to Christ 5 years ago into protestant evangelical Christianity and the Lord is now drawing her(following my lead;)) into the Catholic Church. Infact, they’re all coming even if they don’t quite realise it yet!:smiley:

Will she have problems entering the Church because of the divorce from my Dad, and re-marriage even though they weren’t really believers at the time of the wedding, but were both infant baptised.

Sorry for the very complicated and messy looking life, but that’s unfortunately the best we could ever have hoped for lost and without Christ in the world.


Just because everyone who married was a Baptized Christian and the times of their marriages does not necessarily make the marriages valid. They are, however, *presumed *valid until those who were previously married apply for annulments and a tribunal makes a decision. Which takes a year or more!

Anyone who has been married and divorced and then remarried must have their previous marriages annulled through the Church before they can become fully Catholic and have their current marriages recognized by the Church. Without annulments, those who were previously married and have remarried are considered to be committing adultery and are not able to receive the Sacraments and be welcomed fully into the Catholic Church.

Your brother, his future wife, and your mother really need to speak to a priest about this. There are many reasons a marriage can be declared invalid and an annulment granted, but there is no way to know for sure without speaking with a priest and explaining the circumstances surrounding the marriages.

Thank you:)

The other option, indeed the only option if nullity proceedings fail, is to separate from the current spouse and live a life of continence at least until the preceding spouses die.

I have a similar but even crazier situation in a way. I applied for an annulment after remarrying thinking I would be able to have my marriage blessed in the Catholic Church. After receiving my annulment I found out that since my present husband (an unbaptized non-catholic) who was married to a somewhat Christian for a short period of time (big long story and we don’t know if Catholic or not or whether she was ever baptized at all) has to apply for an annulment in the Catholic Church (???) now just to make sure. His ex-wife was married and divorced before she met him and now she is remarried (not sure if she is divorced again). How does this make sense??? The only Catholic here is me and I so wish I could receive the sacraments but to go through another annulment has me so upset I hardly go to church on Sunday anymore. This does not mean I do not pray or worship the Lord at home and in my life every moment but the red-tape involved in this just has me wondering what is it really all about.

And just to be clear – my present husband was not married in any church – he was married by a JP.

The Church is very serious about marriage. It doesn’t matter if the marriage is between Baptized or unbaptized, Christian or non, civil or religious ceremony…the Church recognizes and respects * all *marriages and presumes them valid unless they are proven otherwise.

The Church considers your husband married to his ex-wife in the eyes of God until the marriage can be investigated by a tribunal and proven to be invalid. Which means you are committing adultery and cannot, in a state of perpetual mortal sin, receive the Sacraments. Does that help it make any more sense?

Now, if you want to receive the Sacraments you have the option of living chastely while waiting for the annulment of your husbands previous marriage. Or you can wait until the annulment is granted and get everything squared away then.

Trust me, I know how hard it is. I was married in a civil ceremony to a man who had never been Baptized and was/is a practicing Pagan . I applied for my annulment a month ago. Neither myself or my husband can receive the Sacraments.

If your husbands ex wife was previously married when she married him, the Church would see your husbands marriage to her as invalid. In the eyes of the Church, the ex wife was still married to her former spouse and could not make a valid marriage to anyone else without an annulment of her own. Annulments in cases like that tend to go very fast as long as the paperwork proving the ex wife was previously married can be gotten and submitted to the tribunal.

It just a matter of “red tape” in my humble opinion. I know my husband’s previous marriage is invalid. He doesn’t care but he has agreed to go for the annulment if it makes me happy. I have been sitting on it for 2 years but I do want to get it squared away for the sake of appearances more than anything else and in order to receive communion. I do not receive the sacraments but I have been to confession regarding other things and the confessor knows the situation. I have been to two confessors and they both agree I should not receive communion as does my pastor who know me well. I hope that I can bring myself to submitting the paper work soon – just recently I felt in my heart I should begin now. I had not had that before. I send God’s blessings to you and pray you will be able to get your spiritual life straightened out. I thought once I had my annulment granted that would be the end of it – imagine my surprise when I had worked so hard for years preparing the paperwork only to discover I needed to do it all over again. The problem is it is not for me but for my husband and he doesn’t know anything about his ex-wife except maybe her name and that she was divorced when he married her. I am going to write whatever he told me and finish it once and for all and trust in God that He will be there for me through it all. And why wouldn’t He? He has been there my whole life looking after me even when I paid no attention to Him. Thanks for your reply.

Hopefully you and your husband will be able to get everything you need paperwork wise. Might be worth looking up the ex wife and asking her to send a copy of her first marriage certificate and divorce papers to help you out if the divorce was amicable or enough time has passed that any anger has dissipated.

I am anxious about my ex’s participation. I know the Church will send him a letter asking for his point of view. I also know that he can delay the process if he doesn’t respond. I called him and spoke to him for the first time in many years, explained my situation, swallowed some pride and asked for his help. He said he wasn’t interested in participating because he isn’t Christian. So I asked him to simply write on the letter that he isn’t christian and does not wish to participate in the process and mail it back, He said he would, but he’s irresponsible in the extreme and vindictive. So, who knows if he’ll help or deliberately delay the process. sigh

Hang in there, you’re not the only one who finds the legalism a bit hard to swallow. I don’t get why the Church feels the need to annul another religion’s marriages, but whatever. Don’t worry about your ex not being willing to participate. The ex’s don’t have to participate. When my mom obtained her annulment, they never found my father, and he never participated. He probably doesn’t even know the marriage was annulled. It didn’t take very long at all, just a few months. So hang in there :hug1:

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