Note: This question may be wrong. I think the right question is in the following link: How do Filipino Catholics get a church annulment when their state marriage is valid, considering the Philippines doesn't have divorce?

Apparently, state divorce is a necessary condition to begin a church annulment process. Why isn't a state divorce actually an argument against rather than a necessary condition for a church annulment petition?

I mean, there are reasons to get an annulment instead of divorce despite divorce being cheaper. So, if your church marriage is invalid, as you want to petition, then why did you get a state divorce instead of a state annulment for your state marriage, which I guess was also invalid?

Of course, answers may include:

  1. Your state marriage is invalid, but the financial reasons for getting a state annulment instead of a state divorce weren't applicable to you. Hence, even though your state marriage is invalid, you chose the cheaper route of getting a state divorce instead of a state annulment.

  2. Your state marriage is valid though your church marriage is still invalid.

Related: Marriage invalid. Would a church annulment require a state annulment or state divorce?


Would a state separation suffice in the place of a state annulment or state divorce? Case 1: The country has divorce. Case 2: The country is the Philippines.

2 Answers 2


To prevent a paradox. Nullifying a marriage by the Catholic Church essentially means the marriage never happened.

Let's say you have a couple with a county/state marriage license and a church wedding. Now a few years later, it turns out the husband had 3 or 4 other girlfriends, the wife finds out, and the couple separates.

She goes to her priest and begs to go through the nullification process. [The following doesn't happen, but let's just say it does:] The priest goes through the necessary procedures and the marriage is nullified in the Catholic Church.

Instead of proceeding with a civil divorce, the couple reconciles and moves back in together. Because they are no longer married in the Church's eyes, they are now living in a state of perpetual sin even though they did the "right" thing by reconciling their marriage.

The same priest that worked on voiding the marriage is now holding the Communion host as the whole family gets in line to receive Holy Communion.

As you can see, the above example is an abomination of the moral order.


Your state marriage is valid though your church marriage is still invalid.

I think that this is the answer in most cases:

In nearly all cases I have heard about a state marriage would be perfectly valid but a church marriage is not.


I have heard about the following cases:

  • The husband had a child with another woman and he didn't tell his wife
  • The husband was homosexual and the wife did not know about this

In both cases a civil marriage is valid and a church marriage can be annulled.


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