Second Marriages
Rules to follow for a church ceremony your second time around

When you're getting married again, the most flexible route to take is a civil ceremony. You can tailor the ceremony to suit your beliefs and you can pick a creative location. If you want a religious service, however, you'll need to investigate any snags you might run into as a result of your divorce. Below, some second-marriage requirements.

Christian Churches
Roman Catholic

If you want to remarry in a Roman Catholic church, you will need an annulment. You've got about 12-18 months of questionnaires and tribunal hearings ahead of you. Your former spouse must be notified of your plans and your family and close friends will be recruited to provide information about your first marriage. To begin, contact your regional diocese and ask for the Tribunal Department. You will be assigned a Judge and Defender to guide you through the process.

Eastern Orthodox

To remarry in an Orthodox Christian church, you'll need to meet with a priest and fill out the necessary paperwork. This paperwork will be sent to the Archdiocese for consideration. Your former spouse must be notified in case he wants to contest the procedure. The last step is to appear before the Ecclesiastical Court to present your case and receive permission to remarry. This process can take anywhere from three to six months.


Episcopalian priests require an initial consultation before you can proceed with your second marriage in the church. You will need to fill out paperwork and then wait for the bishop to grant permission to remarry. This takes about a month.

Jewish Synagogues
Conservative or Orthodox

To be remarried in the Conservative or Orthodox Jewish religion, you will need to receive a Get (Jewish divorce) from your ex-husband. As long as you can prove you are legally divorced, there is no reason why you cannot receive a Get. Your ex-husband can deny you one, but Jewish law strongly encourages him to grant it. You and your ex can go to the office of a rabbi or your ex-husband can go solo and appoint an agent to deliver the completed Get to you. A rabbi or a scribe will handwrite the Get with a quill feather and when the document is complete, two valid witnesses must verify that it has been specifically written for you and your ex.

If you are both present for this, your ex will hand you the Get. If you are not present, the agent will deliver it to you. Then, you must wait 90 days before you remarry.


Most Reform rabbis do not require a religious divorce in order to remarry. As long as you have legally divorced, you can remarry in a Reform synagogue.


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