Marriage between Catholic and non-Catholic parties

Expand / Collapse All

I am Catholic, and my intended spouse is a baptized Christian, but not Catholic. Do we need to apply for a dispensation?

For a licit marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic, permission for a mixed marriage must be granted.

I am a non-Catholic preparing to marry a Catholic. I have been married before, but not in the Catholic Church, and the marriage ended in divorce. Am I free to marry in the Catholic Church?

Before you can marry in the Catholic Church, you will need to petition for a decree of nullity for your previous union through our Tribunal office. “Marriage enjoys the favor of the law (Can. 1060).” This means that the Church assumes the validity of all marriages, including non-Catholic, non-Christian, and civil marriages, unless proven otherwise. A civil divorce does not invalidate or terminate a marriage in the eyes of the Church. Please talk to your parish priest for further guidance and advice about starting the petition process.

Please be aware that a formal annulment case can take a long time. We therefore strongly recommend that you do not set a wedding date until the case is finished and you are in possession of the papers declaring you free to marry in the Catholic Church.

How do I apply for a dispensation or permission?

The application must come from your parish priest on your behalf as part of your marriage preparation. Please do not apply directly, yourself, for a dispensation or permission.

I am Catholic and my intended spouse has never been baptized. Do we need to apply for a dispensation?

Yes, for a valid marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person, a dispensation from disparity of worship must be granted.