Episcopal Divorce Law

The Code of Canon Law of the Episcopal church governs divorce and remarriage of congregants. Under the current Code of Canon Law of the Episcopal church, divorce is not prohibited, although not encouraged. Following a divorce, there are certain requirements in order for a church member to remarry.


  • Episcopal divorce law dates back to the reign of King Henry VIII of England. In his attempts to end his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, King Henry broke from the Catholic Church and established a Christian church in England under his authority.


  • Proof of a church annulment or civil divorce must be provided. The clergy member performing the marriage must remind the divorced person of his obligation to be concerned for the well-being of a former spouse and children. The bishop must consent to the remarriage.

Time Frame

  • There is no set waiting period from the civil divorce or church annulment to the date of a remarriage under Episcopal divorce law.


  • Episcopal divorce law permits a congregant the ability to remain in communion with the church even upon a divorce and remarriage provided a lawful divorce occurs, a commitment is made to be concerned for the initial family and the bishop consents.

Famous Ties

  • Despite establishing the Church of England to divorce his first queen, divorce laws of his Church proved inadequate for King Henry VIII. Rather than divorce his second wife, Henry beheaded Anne Boleyn and his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.