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Martha Colleener wrote:

Hi, guys —

My fiancé and I are planning on getting married in June 2016. He is Catholic and I am Baptist.
I have started going to RCIA . I am not sure if I will convert or not though I'm leaning that way.

I was married before and from what I read I need an annulment in order for our marriage to be valid even though I'm not Catholic.

  • My ex— was married before he married me so would our marriage have been valid?
  • Do I still need an annulment?

Thank you,


  { Does an interested non-Catholic need an annulment if she and her ex— were married before? }

Eric replied:

Martha —

Congratulations on your engagement! You still need an annulment even if it is trivial.

The annulment is just formal proof that your marriage was invalid. The Church has to investigate and make its own conclusion.


Fr. Jonathan replied:


You sound like a very knowledgeable non-Catholic!

The answer depends on the faith of your former spouse and the faith of his first wife.

  • If his first marriage was a valid marriage then you need what is called a Ligamen case and if his first marriage was invalid then you need an annulment.
  • If either your first husband and his first wife were Catholic or Orthodox then you need an annulment.
  • If they were both non-Catholics then you do the Ligamen case.

A Ligamen case is different — it just proves through documents that your first husband was already in a valid marriage when he married you so it made your marriage to him invalid — thus making you free to enter into a valid union now.

Talk to your priest about this.

Fr. Jonathan

Martha replied:

Fr. Jonathan,

Thank you very much for your fast reply and your information.  

I will look into a Ligamen case since I haven't seen that in my research.  We are planning on talking to Priest this Sunday. I just wanted to get more information ahead of time that so I would not worry about it until then.


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