[quote=Karl Keating]Brandon noted that the Church discourages divorce but permits it in certain cases. His phrasing might mislead some people.
The Church teaches that a civil divorce has no effect on the existence of the underlying marriage. A civil divorce (in the Church’s eyes, a separation of the parties) allows for the division of property and the custody of children, but it does not end a marriage. No valid sacramental marriage can be ended unless one of the parties dies.
A declaration of nullity (an annulment) is a judicial finding that no sacramental marriage existed in the first place and that the two parties never were validly married (no matter what might be said on the civil register). An annulment does not end a valid marriage; it just states that there never was one to begin with, although the parties thought there was.
Should it not, also, be noted the seperation is not permitted except in certain cases? (e.g. Physically/spiritually abusive spouse, Adultery)
IIRC, unless there is danger one also needs permission from the local Ordinary to seperate. Civil divorce is permitted to handle legal issues
Can. 1151 Spouses have the obligation and the right to maintain their common conjugal life, unless a lawful reason excuses them.
Can. 1152 §1 It is earnestly recommended that a spouse, motivated by christian charity and solicitous for the good of the family, should not refuse to pardon an adulterous partner and should not sunder the conjugal life. Nevertheless, if that spouse has not either expressly or tacitly condoned the other’s fault, he or she has the right to sever the common conjugal life, provided he or she has not consented to the adultery, nor been the cause of it, nor also committed adultery.
§2 Tacit condonation occurs if the innocent spouse, after becoming aware of the adultery, has willingly engaged in a marital relationship with the other spouse; it is presumed, however, if the innocent spouse has maintained the common conjugal life for six months, and has not had recourse to ecclesiastical or to civil authority.
§3 Within six months of having spontaneously terminated the common conjugal life, the innocent spouse is to bring a case for separation to the competent ecclesiastical authority. Having examined all the circumstances, this authority is to consider
whether the innocent spouse can be brought to condone the fault and not prolong the separation permanently.
Can. 1153 §1 A spouse who occasions grave danger of soul or body to the other or to the children, or otherwise makes the common life unduly difficult, provides the other spouse with a reason to leave, either by a decree of the local Ordinary or, if there is danger in delay, even on his or her own authority.
§2 In all cases, when the reason for separation ceases, the common conjugal life is to be restored, unless otherwise provided by ecclesiastical authority.
Can. 1154 When a separation of spouses has taken place, provision is always, and in good time, to be made for the due maintenance and upbringing of the children.
Can. 1155 The innocent spouse may laudably readmit the other spouse to the conjugal life, in which case he or she renounces the right to separation .
This is all because of the marriage debt. It isn’t right to say that divorce is allowed, as long as one doesn’t remarry. Their is the moral obligation of the marital debt which cannot be denied with just (grave?) cause.