"Married, but not in the Church"

I'd like to thank you for providing this service. I was married, but not in the Church, and then divorced. At some point I would like to marry in the church, and am wondering, do I have to get this other marriage annuled? Or are annulments just for marriages which took place in the church?

Also, how long is the annulment process?

Please e-mail me the answer directly even if you post it to your site, thank you, and may God Bless you for helping so many people around the country.



Dear Karen,

I assume you are a baptized Catholic. If so, the Church would not recognize your marriage. It is referred to as "Defect of Form" and the process for documenting is fairly easy. It involves getting a copy of your baptism certificate, the marriage certificate and someone who can testify that your marriage was never blessed in the Catholic Church. Just give you local parish a call.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has a site which answers questions regarding specific annulment cases.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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