Remarrying in the Catholic church after having previously been married outside of the church


#1

My fiancé and I are both practicing Catholics and have both been confirmed. I have never been married, but several years ago, my fiancé was married to a non-Catholic in a secular ceremony. He was confirmed, but not particularly involved with the Catholic church at the time. The marriage was short-lived and had grounds for a civil annulment, but because of personal circumstances, they chose to just divorce.

Now, my fiancé and I would like to marry in the Catholic church. Since his previous marriage had no religious affiliations, would it be recognized by the church? If so, would the fact that it took place outside of the church be enough to render it null? Or would he have to partake in the church's annulment process?

Thank you.


#2

His marriage was never valid in the eyes of the church so there should be no impediment to your getting married in the church.


#3

[quote="err3021, post:1, topic:229968"]
Now, my fiancé and I would like to marry in the Catholic church. Since his previous marriage had no religious affiliations, would it be recognized by the church?

[/quote]

Catholics are required to marry according to the laws of the Church. Since he did not, his marriage is invalid due to a defect called "lack of form."

[quote="err3021, post:1, topic:229968"]
If so, would the fact that it took place outside of the church be enough to render it null?

[/quote]

Yes.

[quote="err3021, post:1, topic:229968"]
Or would he have to partake in the church's annulment process?

[/quote]

Also yes. His marriage does not have a presumption of validity because as a Catholic he had to follow Church law and did not.

However, the diocese will document the facts of the case and make a declaration of his freedom to marry. A lack of form case typically takes from a few weeks to a few months to conclude including gathering paperwork. Paperwork includes his baptismal records, marriage license, divorce decree, and some diocesan forms.

You will also need to go through marriage preparation in whatever form it takes in your diocese.

So, step one is to make an appointment with your priest, sit down with him, and have your fiance give all the facts of the marriage to the priest, and then follow his instructions.


#4

[quote="err3021, post:1, topic:229968"]
My fiancé and I are both practicing Catholics and have both been confirmed. I have never been married, but several years ago, my fiancé was married to a non-Catholic in a secular ceremony. He was confirmed, but not particularly involved with the Catholic church at the time. The marriage was short-lived and had grounds for a civil annulment, but because of personal circumstances, they chose to just divorce.

Now, my fiancé and I would like to marry in the Catholic church. Since his previous marriage had no religious affiliations, would it be recognized by the church? If so, would the fact that it took place outside of the church be enough to render it null? Or would he have to partake in the church's annulment process?

Thank you.

[/quote]

He is married in the eyes of the Church until judged null by competent ecclesial authority. If he was Catholic, but married outside the Church without permission, then the marriage is likely null due to lack of canonical form. This case may not require a tribunal, as it is easier to establish than other tribunal cases. See your pastor. He should be able to tell you the process to take.


#5

[quote="Maureen1125, post:2, topic:229968"]
His marriage was never valid in the eyes of the church so there should be no impediment to your getting married in the church.

[/quote]

Until competent ecclesial authority states otherwise, his marriage is putative, and therefore deemed valid.


#6

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.