Validity of Marriage


My wife that I’m divorcing insists that our marraige is valid in Gods eyes. I am Catholic and she is Southern Baptist and we were never married in the Church, we were married in a courthouse. I believe that I am more accurate. Is there any info that I can show her to settle the arguement?


As a Catholic, you are bound by the laws of the Church on marriage. That means you were bound to either marry in a Catholic Church or have rec’d a dispensation from your Bishop to marry outside (Dispensation from Form).

Canon Law:


Can. 1124 Without express permission of the competent authority, a marriage is prohibited between two baptized persons of whom one is baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act and the other of whom is enrolled in a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the Catholic Church.


I know you are divorcing her, but can you see where your words on this subject seem a bit cruel? :blush: Yes, according to the Catholic faith, becuase you didn’t get dispensation and didn’t marry a Catholic, you marriage is invalid in the eyes of the Church. But I fail to see how telling her this does her any kindness…in her faith and in her heart, it was valid. And I assume you didn’t knowingly violate Canonical form, either.

If you’re intent on ending the union, just end it with as little conflict as possible, especially if you have children. You’re not ever going to “settle the argument” by pointing out Canon law to a Southern Baptist.


Dude, just give it up. Yes, you’re correct, but NOTHING you provide, especially nothing from the Catholic Church, is going to convince her. Don’t keep knocking your head against the wall, the wall will win.


Are you telling me that you never worried about the validity of your marriage? If you worried and you did not do anything about it now it is the time for you to shut up and let her be. If you did not worry now it is time for you to shut up and let her be.


Thank you all for your help. This is a difficult time for me and I appreciate your words of advice as well as your canonical insight.


I think the thread came off, from what I reading from most responses, as if you were being mean. I’m sure there is more to the story than that, very sorry to hear about your pain.

Is there any possibility of saving the marriage?


I was not trying to sound or be mean, I want to be understood and my beliefs to be acknowledged by her. I thought at first that things would be ok if we were not of the same faith. I’ve read that some couples are able to overcome their faith differences and I hoped that the same would have been true of us. Unfortunately not. There are many details that have led me to the decision to divorce. In fact, she has wanted to divorce for a long time and now that I finally agree, she all of a sudden wants to save the marriage because she believes that it is “valid.” I believe that she is afraid to live life on her own.

There is no possibility of saving this marriage.


It sounds like you called her bluff. Have you tried counciling?


You are missing something here. Just because you are not considered married in the eyes of the canon law, doesn’t effect the fact that you are married in God’s Eyes. I am Lutheran MS and my Husband is Catholic, and his priest explained that we were indeed married in God’s Eyes from the get go, just not in the eyes of the Catholic Church until our Radical Sanation Process was approved.

If my husband had turned to me before that and said he wasn’t really spiritually divorcing me because our was not real in God’s Eyes I would have seriously pissed off. Saying that to your wife is pretty mean, I’m sure that are reasons on both side that things aren’t working, but to simply disregard her religous beliefs and feelings isn’t any different than her disregarding yours.


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