(Closed) Marriage but groom’s divorce not final!!!

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I assume whoever marries you will know they have to sign the marriage certificate so unless you are having just a friend or someone marry you, there isn’t a way around not signing the certificate.


Post # 4
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I am so sorry this is happening to you! I really hope you are able to track her down and get this settled. Sorry I don’t have much advice as I don’t know much about the legalities here. I would talk to your priest about the situation and see what he has to say.

I do have a related question for you. You say you are getting married in the Catholic church. Doesn’t your fiance need to obtain a decree of nullity before you can do that? I am just curious because it took my fiance a year and a half to go through the annulment process, and that couldn’t even start before the divorce was final. I realize not all marriages necessarily require this, though, if they were invalid for lack of form or the parties were not baptised. 

Post # 5
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I was always under the impression that in the Catholic church, you had to have it annulled. So, not only can you not still be married, you would have to go through that whole process first before they will marry you I believe. I’m kinda shocked they let you do all the precana {is that what it’s called?} stuff without having some sort of paperwork for this. Also, no priest, minister, judge, etc. is going to perform a "fake" ceremony for show. You need to postpone, resolve your issues and then start again. Sorry that you’re having to deal with this.

Post # 6
5993 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

you dont have to have an annullment for a catholic wedding. Nicole Kidman 2nd marriage was catholic because the church doesnt recognize scientology (her 1st marriage to tom cruise) but she was legally divorced

i have no advise but this is a terrible situation for you – goodluck!


Post # 7
193 posts
Blushing bee

Besides the Catholic bit, I think your groom does have some legal power here. Someone can’t just "run away" to keep you from divorcing them. Contact a lawyer to see what your options are, then worry about the wedding.

I think it’ll be hard having a Catholic wedding if he isn’t divorced – whoever is marrying you is going to wonder where the marriage license is, and of course you can’t apply for a license if he isn’t properly divorced. That’s going to be tricky. Best bet is to see what you can do to get the divorce final at all costs (there’s still time), and go ahead with the wedding. Otherwise, you’ll either have to forfeit the church ceremony (and get someone who knows what’s up to stand in as your officiant) or postpone it until everything’s taken care of.

Good luck.

Post # 8
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

You can’t get married again until you’re divorced, and I’m sure no Catholic church would agree to a sham ceremony to keep up appearances. But she can’t just skip town to prevent the divorce from being finalized, either. Contact a lawyer, ASAP (might not be enough time to finalize otherwise).

Post # 9
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Am I the only one wondering why you planned a wedding when your Fiance isn’t legally divorced yet? Not trying to sound harsh, but you are almost asking for chaos and things like this happening doing so. Divorces can be ugly. Also I know Catholic churches make you go through the annulment process, as a family memeber had to go through that, so I’m having a hard time understanding how you are able to have the ceremony. No respectable priest is going to do a false wedding. I recommend you look into your legal rights and proceed from there even if it means postponing. Sorry!

Post # 10
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Just to add that I heard the annullment process can take over a year! Sorry your going through this!

Post # 11
2640 posts
Sugar bee

My husband’s anullment took a year.  That was after having a legal divorce.  I think most marriages do require an anullment, although some take longer than others (ie. a previous marriage that took place in a Catholic church takes longer, I believe.)  But yes, I do think there are some circumstances that don’t require an anullment.

Post # 12
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

That’s what I was thinking too. How come you have a set date for your wedding when you know that he is not divorced yet?

It’s possible to have a fake ceremony if it was outside the church, like a beach or garden wedding. Maybe you have a friend or you know someone who can do this. 

Post # 13
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

The Catholic Church will not marry you if one party is currently legally married.  Period.  You’d also need an annulment (but if the marriage was invalid according to the Church to begin with, it’s an annulment by form, which is faster).  I hope you find her, but truthfully, you probably won’t be getting married September 26.

Post # 14
677 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Most states have a way to notify of intent to divorce via the newspaper or other means if the papers have been termed "unservable" by a private process server and/or law enforcement. Your Fiance needs to get on the ball asap though if you intend to keep your date… There are procedures that need to be fulfilled and documented before public notification can occur – and there are parameters that have to be observed for the notification itself as well.

Depending on what state you’re in and how much of his divorce is "done" you may have to do some serious rethinking.

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