So confused about validity of my marriage!


I am so confused.
I’ve searched and searched on the net talked to priests and get different answers all the time.

I was previously married to a divorced Catholic who never received an annulment. I was never married before. We got married in Toronto at Timothy Eaton. United Church. Now my marriage should be invalid because I married a woman who was still married in the eyes of the church.

Now I have met a Catholic Never been married woman and I am confused if I would be aloud to marry in the Catholic Church.

Now is my previous marriage valid or invalid…if so then do i have to go through an annulment process or not.

I hope someone with answers can help me here.

My question is, “Can I remarry within the Catholic Church?”



All marriages, including yours, is presumed to be valid until it is proven otherwise. Therefore, you need to contact a priest and begin the process of completing the paperwork to submit to the tribunal for investigation.

The tribunal can investigate and determine if your first marriage was valid or not. It is a complex case since your former spouse also had a prior marriage. These things will all have to be investigated one step at a time.

There are so many factors that can only be answered by a competent canon lawyer who has ALL the details of your case file that is is fruitless to try to answer anything here except this:

You are not currently free to marry.

Your marriage is currently considered valid and must be investigated to determine otherwise.


Have you obtained a civil divorce from your marriage?

If yes, then make an appointment with your parish priest. You should apply for a decision regarding your previous marriage. This may or may not require a full annnullment process but you need to discuss the process with your priest. He will direct your steps.

If you are not catholic, are you interested in becoming one? If not catholic and not interested in becoming catholic, then your catholic friend should assist you on making the contacts with their parish priest or the local chancellory office.

You should not be dating a catholic or planning a wedding until you know that you are free to enter into a marriage and they are freely able to marry you within the Church. As you have found out, it does not make matters better to circumvent the process.

Also, you [and your friend] should take careful note of the pre-cana [or the program for the diocese you are] classes, should you be free to marry. Pre-marital counseling and classes, taken to heart, will assist you in making good choices and have a stronger marriage. Divorce is such a hard and sad state…as i am sure you are well aware…

Good Luck and God Bless, I’ll say a prayer for you…

Please remember that it is Three who get married…if God is not at the center of your marriage, it lacks much…

PS: A very good book; see it here


If anything, this marriage would not need to be annulled in the very long-drawn out investigative way other annulments occur.

Not all marriages are presumed to be valid. Especially not ones that take place with a Catholic who was previously married and had no prior annulment.

You married a Catholic who was not free to marry in a ceremony that was not a Catholic ceremony.

I would suspect a tribunal would quickly decide the prior union was completely invalid. And you would be free to marry.

But you would need to consult your diocesan tribunal to affirm this.

Yada has given excellent advice.


Talk to your Priest.

You may not even need a full annulment procedure.

Your profile says you are Catholic. If you were at the time of your civil marriage, your marriage would be invalid b/c it was not in a Catholic Church.

I believe all you would need to do is provide proof of your Baptism, proof that your marriage was in a non-Catholic Church, and proof of civil divorce. If you can do that, it is a matter of some simple paperwork by the Priest. No tribunal necessary.

My sister’s husband had a similar situation, and it was handled very quickly and simply.

God Bless


Yes I am born Catholic.
I was married to a divorced Catholic woman who never got an annualment from her 1st Catholic marriage.
I was never married before until this marriage and we got married in a United Church.

I have been Baptized, 1st Communion and confirmation, I went to get my Baptizm Certificate and my last sacrament was Confirmation and never updated to Married…

I am now fully legally divorced in the civil law courts.

So I would believe my marriage is invalid and will be speaking with my parish priest more in depth…



If you married a Catholic woman who never had her previous marriage annulled, then your marriage to her would indeed have been invalid. However, you STILL need to have this fact officially recognized by your diocese to be married again. It will be a very simple process since it will be so easy to prove that your marriage was invalid.


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