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Susan wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • My [brother/sister-in-law] have been married three times and divorced once.
  • They were married the first time by a justice of the peace. My sister-in-law went through a type of annulment since she had been married before outside of the Catholic Church.
  • My [brother/sister-in-law] then had their marriage blessed in the Church (marriage #2).
  • Then, my [brother/sister-in-law] divorced and remarried each other #3.

I assume, once again, by a justice of the peace.

  • Do they need to go through an annulment?

Their divorce was short lived.

My Mother says No.

Thank you.


  { With this complex marital history, do they need to go through an annulment? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi Sue,

Your mother is correct.

Here is the logic:

The Catholic Church doesn't recognize the divorce — i.e. that's what Annulments are for thus
if they got divorced civilly and then got married civilly, it is like it didn't happen canonically.

However, something obviously did happen so they considered renewing their vows — but it is not necessary.

Fr. Jonathan

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