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Carmelo S. wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a baptized Catholic who was not practicing the faith when I was married.

I was first married to a non-practicing baptized Methodist. We were married in a Methodist church and went through the appropriate counseling prior to marriage. About 6 to 8 months prior to the wedding our relationship became extremely rocky and my wife-to-be became verbally abusive towards me. I chalked this up to the stress of planning and having the jitters.

We both had answered yes to wanting children but shortly after our marriage my ex-wife stated that she does not want children anymore. There was no doubt in my mind that we discussed this heavily and that I wanted children. Had the reasoning been a medical complication, we would have adopted. This was not the case as she had simply said she changed her mind. After many failed attempts of going to counseling together, I had asked for a divorce.

Since then, I have met my beautiful wife, and we are expecting our first child shortly. We have both become fully committed to the Catholic faith. We would both like to receive the sacrament of Marriage in our Church and was told I may need to have an annulment.

  • Will I need an annulment and how would I go about having one performed?

Carmelo S.

  { Now that I've come back to the faith, will I need an annulment and how do I get one? }

Mike replied:

Hi Carmelo,

This is a common question; it's even in our searchable knowledge base:

There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I searched the knowledge base for you and found this web posting that should help:

I am not qualified to make any assessment of your situation, nor is any lay Catholic in the pew, but Fr. Jonathan who is trained in this area may have an opinion.


Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Carmelo —

It sounds like your first marriage was at a time when you were not practicing so I am going to make an assumption that you did not contact the Catholic Church prior to that marriage in the Methodist church.

  • If that is absolutely the case, then the required dispensation for that marriage was not given, therefore your first marriage is considered invalid, and
  • if that is the case, then you do not need an Annulment.

Contact your local priest and he should be able to do a Lack of Form case instead. It does not take a significant amount of time.

Fr. Jonathan

Carmelo replied:

Thank you Father John,

That is correct. I did not contact a Catholic priest.

I thank you for your quick reply. I am truly happy to be back home in my renewed faith with my growing family.

Thank you,

Carmelo S.

Eric replied:

Carmelo —

You still need to contact a Catholic priest and do some paperwork though it is not as significant as what is required for an annulment.

You will also need to have a convalidation done of your current marriage; this is often called having your marriage blessed.


Carmelo replied:

Thank You Eric,

I am and have been working with my Deacon who is helping with the paperwork.

He was not sure if I required an annulment but you all have helped me . . . and quickly too.

Thank you all,

Carmelo S.

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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