Q. I have a daughter who is recently divorced. She was married in the Catholic Church and has three children. She is pursuing an annulment. Currently, she is dating, and it seems quite serious. She does not live with this man. Is it wrong or sinful for her to date, as she does not have an annulment, and she may not get one?
— Margaret, via e-mail
A. Divorce is very sad, but we have to deal with it. Until your daughter receives a declaration of nullity about her first marriage, she should not keep company with another man because in the Church “marriage enjoys the favor of the law.” That means, until there is an annulment, we presume the first marriage is valid. Objectively, her behavior is wrong.
This can be very difficult advice to give, and even more difficult to receive. But whenever I’ve counseled cases such as these, I have firmly encouraged people to trust in the wisdom of the Church and choose the higher road. In every case, things have worked out splendidly because the persons in question showed humility and faith and trusted in God and the wisdom of the Church. They received annulments are now happily married with children, and more importantly, very close to Jesus Christ. Trust in the Lord.
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