Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Alain Labranche wrote:

Hi, guys —

I use to live in a common law relationship for over ten years but now I found someone that I want to married. I am being told my fiancée and I may not be able to get married in Catholic Church because I lived in a common law relationship before and it is like being married.

  • Is there any truth to this because it does not make any sense to me?


Alain L.

  { Is it true that because I've been in a common law relationship the Church can't marry us? }

Bob replied:


The former relationship is not considered to be a valid marriage and therefore does not require an annulment. You should go to Confession and talk to a priest about your former life and resolve to live a truly Catholic Christian life before marrying in the Church.

In short, you are free to marry, but make sure you intend to live an honest faithful life as a Catholic so as to have a truly blessed union.


Bob Kirby

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Alain —

Actually, it's not as simple as Bob makes it out to be. His answer could be either right or wrong depending on your answers to these questions:

  • How are you defining a common law relationship?
  • What State were you in?
  • Was your relationship recognized as a marriage by your State?
  • What faith are you and your fiancée?
  • What faith was the person in the previous relationship?

IF your fiancée is non-Catholic and her former common-law partner was non-Catholic, and Common Law marriage is recognized by her particular state, (e.g. Texas), then the advice she was given is correct and she would need an annulment.

Fr. Jonathan

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.