EWTN Catholic Q&A
Annulment and dating
Question from Janice Nadeau on 09-15-2012:

My husband filed for a civil divorce and was granted one on May 30, 2012. He said that 3 parish priests told him it was ok to date before an annulment was granted. Can you let me know definitively if the priests were correct in telling him this, or more specifically, are there certain dating guidelines that one must follow that make it ok? I would like to forward your response to him. Thank you!

Answer by Robert J. Flummerfelt, J.C.L. on 09-15-2012:

Hi Janice,

Thank you for your email. Under Church law, the marriage you entered into (if entered into according to canonical form) is presumptively valid (canon 1060) unless and until a Church Tribunal declares otherwise.

As a result, you remain obligated to your marital vows (and of course also your husband remains obligated to his marital vows!). Dating while married is of course not morally licit. The divorce has no impact on whether the union you and your husband entered into is valid or not.

Peace and blessings, Bob