Taking a Closer Look: Two Types of Religious Divorce

Just as you did not need to wed in a church or temple to be legally married, you do not need a religious ceremony or ritual in order to become legally divorced. However, some couples may choose to pursue a religious divorce in addition to a legal divorce in order to follow the laws and traditions of their faith.


Although divorce proceedings have become outdated in many religions, including most types of Christianity, they are still relevant in some faiths. Let’s take a closer look at two of the more common types of religious divorce in Washington State:

  • Catholic annulment. The Catholic Church does not believe in divorce. However, in certain circumstances, the church will grant a religious annulment, which invalidates the marriage. In the case of an annulment, the church decides that the marriage never really took place. A religious annulment can take place if, for example, the couple never intended to enter into a permanent, faithful, and fruitful union. To officially remarry in the Catholic Church, you must first be granted an annulment from the church.
  • Jewish Get. A get is a divorce document that some Jews are required to receive before remarrying. A get is issued only after a civil divorce has been granted, and may not be issued at all depending on the beliefs of the couple and their particular temple. The get proceedings involve a rabbi and witnesses and do not take more than an hour or two. During the get proceedings, the couple is not asked about their reasons for divorce, and in some traditions, the get is cut in half after it is signed.


Understanding both Washington State civil divorce proceedings and religious divorce proceedings is important to understanding the connection between divorce, law, culture, and religion. At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, we are sensitive to those relationships. To learn more about our legal services, please call 425-460-0550.


Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny