Do all prior marriages have to be annulled or just the first one?


My wife and I have been studying the Catholic faith for the past year and we both are feeling called to become Catholic.

I have been married 5 times before. This is my wife’s first marriage.

In what I have been able to find out, I would need to get my 1st marriage annulled in order to have my current marriage Blessed by The Church. Is this correct?

Additionally, I have read horror stories about people caught up in the annulment process, not to mention the potential problems of contacting ex-spouses.

I must say that it would be truly demoralizing to find out that I believe all that is stated in the Church’s Creed and be barred from entering the fullness of the faith based on this single issue.

I Pray there is still hope…

Thank you and God Bless

You wouldn’t just need you first marriage annulled, you would need all your prior marriages annulled.
Its important to remember that an annulment does not invalidate a valid marriage, it is an investigation that determines that a valid marriage never existed.
Anytime someone enters into marriage, it is presumed that that marriage is valid until proven otherwise. Thus your first marriage is the presumed valid marriage. However, if that marriage is determined to have been invalid then that would mean that you were indeed free to marry at the time of your second marriage and that would then become the presumed valid marriage until proven otherwise, and so on and so forth.

It can be a difficult process for people to accept sometimes but we need to remember that the Church is simply trying to be faithful to the words of Christ that no man can divide what God has joined.