We speak of a remarriage when somebody marries again after a previous marriage. A marriage can be ended by death, divorce or annulment. Annulment is a special case, however.
In the Catholic Church, divorce is impossible but annulment is an option. If one of the required conditions for a marriage appears not to be met during or after the ceremony, the marriage can be annulled. The marriage is considered as if it never existed..
A few centuries ago, catholic people married for the church only. In those days, a marriage could be annulled when the marriage had not been "consummated".
Annulment in the catholic church can be based on one or more of the four principles: defect of form during the ceremony, defect of contract, unwillingness or being unable. Reasons for annulment are: cosanguinity, insanity, not having the intention te remain with the other for the rest of your life, adultery, deception, one partner by the other or if one of the partners was married to somebody else when they married or one or both of the partners were dronk or drugged during the marriage ceremony.
Children from an annulled marriage are considered legitimate children from the point of view of the church. Hence, this fact together with adultery means in fact that the church accepts a divorce, but they call it "annulment". The church speaks of remarriage only after your parter died and you marry somebody else.
Today, a legal marriage can be annulled because of most of the above mentioned reasons.
When a marriage is annuled, it is like it has never existed. If you marry "again", you do not "remarry". For the married couple, the consequences are are more or less the same as for a divorce.
For the children from the annulled marriage, the consequences are the same as for a divorce. Usually their father is the man who their mother was married to when they were born. So there are no financial consequences and the inheritance rights remain. Only if the mother or the father contest the fact that the father has paternity rights, a paternity case needs to be started to prove that the father is not the biological father. This procedure can be started by the father and by the mother.
When somebody marries "again" after an annulled marriage, we do not speak of a "remarriage" because the annulled marriage never exisited.
Remarriage might have the following consequences:
Return to the Divorce and Children page.