Remarriage to same person after annulment


#1

A friend that I know who was married many years ago in the Catholic church, stayed married to that person for 16 or 17 years, got divorced civilly, both parties remarried outside of the Catholic church, she was Catholic he was not. They both got married very young. After she married the second time,(out of the church), her husband died. She came back to the church.
Her 1st husband had remarried outside of the church because he wasn’t Catholic to begin with. Recently, after the woman’s 2nd husband died, she recieved an annulment from the Catholic church, and has not remarried. Also recently, after the annulment has been granted for over two years, her 1st husband, now divorced from wife 2, says he wants to remarry her. She was at fault in the divorce, and she admits it. She has changed, but would like to know her waiting period, and what is needed to be done before going to the tribunal, which I informed her she needed to do. Her 1st husband’s second marriage was performed BEFORE the annulment was granted if that makes it any difference. His 2nd marriage was about 10 years ago. Also, as far as I am aware, she has not called or attempted to notify this 1st husband in over 15 years, so it isn’t like she broke up their marriage. He lives a fair distance away from her, but evidentally is not concerned about that.


#2

Your friend needs to make an appointment with a priest for advice on her marriage situation. Hopefully, it will only be a matter of some paperwork; but he will be in the best position to help.


#3

He will need to present all the facts of his marriage to the tribunal. His second marriage is presumed valid.

So, if they are serious they need to meet with her pastor and he will need to have a case for his second marriage being invalid to proceed.


#4

Like the poster above me said, you need to talk to a priest or someone in the Church who knows about annulments. From the immediate ideas you presented, it would seem (if my understanding is right) that it would depend on whether his second marriage was valid or not. Since his first marriage was invalid (hence it could be annulled), that would mean one of two things: either his “second” marriage was valid and was his first “real” marriage, or it was invalid for some reason and thus he’s never been validly married. One reason I can think of why his “second” marriage might be invalid, just from what you told us, is that in the eyes of the Church his first “marriage” hadn’t been annulled yet, and thus he wasn’t free to marry. Being still bound to wait for a declaration of nullity from his “first” marriage, and not doing that, would, I think, make his “second” marriage invalid, and the declaration of nullity that was later given concerning his “first” marriage is proof that it was invalid too. Thus, in the eyes of the Church, I think what you’ll find if you ask someone more knowledgeable is that her “husband” and her were never validly married in the first place, and his second “marriage” wasn’t valid either, so they are both free to marry for the first (valid) time. Which would be a happy ending.


#5

[quote="dmar198, post:4, topic:340466"]
One reason I can think of why his "second" marriage might be invalid, just from what you told us, is that in the eyes of the Church his first "marriage" hadn't been annulled yet, and thus he wasn't free to marry. Being still bound to wait for a declaration of nullity from his "first" marriage, and not doing that, would, I think, make his "second" marriage invalid, and the declaration of nullity that was later given concerning his "first" marriage is proof that it was invalid too.

[/quote]

This is not the case since he is not a Catholic. His second marriage is presumed valid, he had no prior bond as his first was invalid. It does not matter that the first had not been declared invalid, it was invalid.

[quote="dmar198, post:4, topic:340466"]
I think what you'll find if you ask someone more knowledgeable is that her "husband" and her were never validly married in the first place, and his second "marriage" wasn't valid either, so they are both free to marry for the first (valid) time. Which would be a happy ending.

[/quote]

No, not the case unfortunately.


#6

Two possibilities here, they can either look to get the husband's 2nd marriage annulled or move to have the initial annulment the couple received thrown out.

A canon lawyer would be the best expert to consult on this matter.


#7

[quote="Kielbasi, post:6, topic:340466"]
Two possibilities here, they can either look to get the husband's 2nd marriage annulled or move to have the initial annulment the couple received thrown out.

A canon lawyer would be the best expert to consult on this matter.

[/quote]

An annulment is automatically "appealed" (reviewed before a second tribunal) before being decreed. The lack of a valid marriage is thus considered an objective fact, with the serious consequence that the woman's first putative husband was free to attempt marriage with his "second" wife. Given this man's history with divorce, there may be grounds for annulment based on not truly understanding the permanent nature of marriage.

However, even if annulment were possible, the woman should strongly reconsider (re)marrying a man with such a disposable attitude towards woman. Even if she were "at fault", their relationship is tainted with tremendous baggage.


#8

[quote="Kielbasi, post:6, topic:340466"]
Two possibilities here, they can either look to get the husband's 2nd marriage annulled or move to have the initial annulment the couple received thrown out.

A canon lawyer would be the best expert to consult on this matter.

[/quote]

I was one of the witnesses in this lady's anulment process, and knew both of them well. I was reluctant to be a witness, but since her marriage to number 1 was so many years ago, I agreed. But, I saw the tremendous change in her, so I consented on the basis that I would have to tell the truth about her, and she also freely admitted her fault in the divorce.

This man, yes, has married another,(and now divorced) and I'm not saying my friend and this man should get back together. I don't know. But, I do know that he tried everything he could to stay with her--but, she was unfaithful, over and over again. He stayed, and stayed. They stayed together about 17 years, although they were apart for much of those years due to the nature of his job which took him out of town. My only statement against him was that he wasn't strong enough to stand up to her, and it could be the reason for failure of his marriage to #2, but I don't keep in contact with him, so I don't know his situation any longer.

After her second husband died (she was married to #2 for about 15 years), she filed for anulment, and got it, because the marriage was so long ago, and her 1st husband was remarried, and of course other factors that the tribunal takes into consideration.

However, the fact that he would even want to contact her after the way she treated him is to me, a miracle of God's amazing power.

I've known her for many years, and I know that the marriage could work this time, although I believe he would have to go to counseling, as would she.

She didn't even want to get the anulment, but some people at church told her "she needed to set the record straight" and set him free. She was at peace after the anulment, and was shocked when she heard from him. (anulment cleared two years ago now). He lives in this state, but not close.

Does anyone know the length of time it takes to overturn a decision of the tribunal? This is important to me, as her close friend, as I would really like to see this marriage make it this time around. I know he will not desert her, if he came looking for her without her doing anything at all to pursue it, and she has been a celebate single person. I also know she will not step out on him either. Her second marriage was not a good one, and she had to do everything she could to hold it together. She never ran around on #2, even though she had many challenges with him.


#9

Has this man ever been validly baptised?


#10

[quote="summer1900, post:8, topic:340466"]
...Does anyone know the length of time it takes to overturn a decision of the tribunal? ...

[/quote]

Hello,

That is almost certainly not going to happen, if the case has already gone through two Tribunals and if the Tribunals involved were properly functioning. The person would have to have a canon lawyer look at the files and see if there was any procedural error that would make the processes themselves null. From what you've said here, I think that's the only possibility and even this is, as I said, very unlikely. I don't see a reason to speculate on how long that would take.

Dan


#11

[quote="summer1900, post:8, topic:340466"]

Does anyone know the length of time it takes to overturn a decision of the tribunal?

[/quote]

Forget it. It has been through the court of first and second instance. There is no "overturning" it. Listen to dans0622, he is a canon lawyer.

Your ladyfriend needs to go talk to her pastor.


#12

Because the gentleman in question is not Catholic he was not bound to marry according to the Church’s canonical fom. The Church will presume that this gentleman’s second marriage is valid. If he has received a civil dissolution, i.e. divorce, from his second marriage he will need to put his second marriage before a diocesan tribunal. His civil dissolution is not sufficient to be able to marry a Catholic. He also needs a decree of nullity of his marriage.

If he is granted a decree of nullity the Bishop may also issue a vetitum. He may want this couple to spend a period of time following any decree of nullity prohibited from marrying. If this couple have both been married twice and once to each other the Bishop may have some concerns about their understanding of marriage and their commitment to a marriage.


#13

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.