EWTN Catholic Q&A
Question from Tony on 04-15-2013:

What does the Catholic Church or the Bible say about re- marrying after getting a civil wedding annulment? Is a civil wedding considered by the church as binding like a church wedding? What if a couple had a civil wedding and decided to have an annulment, can each re-marry and have a church wedding? What does the Bible say about this?

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 10-06-2013:

Dear Tony,

While the Bible lays down the teaching of Christ that there is to be no divorce, He has delegated the Church to handle the details. Now for those who are not Catholics the Church considers a civil marriage to be a true marriage, But if one or both partners in a civil marriage are Catholics, the Church considers the Catholic party or parties to be living in sin. To get out of that condition they should be married by a priest. To understand this process the key point to keep in mind is that Christ has delegated the Church to decide matters of detail. If this important point is forgotten, then the rules of Church appear only as a bunch of legalisms of human dividing. That should not be the attitude of a real Catholic. But how many real Catholics are in the Church today, Catholics who firmly believe that Christ has made the Church the judge in marriage cases? That's the question.

Dr. Geraghty