This has been a hotly-debated question in the church throughout its history, for there are some who believe that divorce is never justified and thus if you marry a divorced person you are guilty of adultery. Those who teach that divorce is never justified usually quote the following scriptures:

Malachi 2:16: “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce” (NKJV).

Romans 7:2-3: “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.”

In their minds divorce is a sin because God hates divorce and only death can sever the marriage bond. If death does occur, she (or he) would be free to remarry. But they fail to see that even though this is God’s intention, yet because of sin He has given two grounds for divorce.

Matthew 5:32 states, “But I (Jesus Christ) say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except SEXUAL IMMORALITY causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.” The Lord gives a clear exception in this verse: ADULTERY. If one spouse commits adultery it is indeed GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE. That doesn’t mean divorce is inevitable, for the innocent spouse may forgive the guilty spouse resulting in reconciliation. We see in this verse that if divorce occurs for any other reason and one gets remarried, he/she is guilty of adultery. But we can infer from this that if they are justified in divorcing their spouse, they are then free to remarry. So, in answer to your question, here is a case where “it is Biblical to get married to a divorcee.”

1st Corinthians 7:13-15 reads, “And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife…But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.” In these verses the apostle Paul adds another cause for divorce: ABANDONMENT. Notice, this case is limited to a believer being forsaken by an unbeliever. The Lord knew that if one spouse were to become saved it could cause friction in their marriage if the other spouse remained unsaved, and that in some cases the unbeliever would walk away from the marriage. We learn in this passage that this too was grounds for divorce, for it specifically says that “a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.” I believe this also implies that they would not only be free to divorce their spouse, but they would also be free to remarry. Here is yet another case where “it is Biblical to get married to a divorcee.” (244.10) (DO)