Our state and nation are careful to keep Church and State separate, including when it comes to matters of marriage and divorce. A divorcing couple’s religion, if any, probably will have no bearing on the proceedings.
Meanwhile, many, if not most, Minnesotans choose to have a religious ceremony when they get married, though they are not required to. And if they ever divorce, their faith may require certain rituals to be performed before the marriage can be considered over in the eyes of that particular religion.
For instance, in order for a divorced Catholic person to get remarried within the faith, he or she must get the first marriage annulled by the Church. This can be a surprisingly slow process, but as the Associated Press recently reported, Pope Francis has announced a new, streamlined annulment process that will be available to many Catholics looking to remarry.
Under the new system, when divorce spouses both request an annulment or one spouse at least does not object, the request will be handled by a bishop. The pope wants these fast-track annulments to take no more than 45 days.
This will make it easier for many Catholics to continue to practice their religion, while also moving on from their prior marriage.
Again, whether or not a person is married or divorced in the eyes of their faith has nothing to do with the legal divorce process. An experienced divorce attorney cannot provide religious guidance, but he or she can help you work out a financial settlement, determine a child custody arrangement and otherwise handle all divorce-related matters.