What is the Church’s view on marriage when a Catholic adulterous husband has filed for divorce against an innocent spouse of 17 years?
Civil divorce, under certain circumstances, may not be a bad thing. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law (see CIC 1151-1155). If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense” (CCC 2383). However, civil divorce will not dissolve the marriage. The wife would not be free to remarry unless the first marriage is declared null or until her husband dies.