(Closed) Prenuptial agreement

posted 12 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
321 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

How would the church ever know if you had a pre-nup? It’s a legal thing between you and your partner, I don’t think you even have to mention it. Of course no church or mister/pastor/priest that is going to perform your wedding would want to think that you have any hopes of divorcing and I don’t think pre-nups mean you will divorce.

I think however some other bee’s might have an idea.

Have you thought about contacting your Priest? if not yours, maybe some other priest.

Post # 4
193 posts
Blushing bee

Hi! First of all, I’d talk to your priest – the clergy is probably the best place to find answers. After a quick Google, it looks like the parish may have to send the prenup to someone higher up in the church for an official yes/no. In general, it seems that the Catholic Church *may* perform your marriage but definitely frowns upon them (again, ask your priest!):

http://www.diopitt.org/serves_tribunal_canon.php  (scroll down to "Prenuptial Agreements")




Finally, are you having a Catholic wedding? I believe that the church recognizes any religious ceremony as the beginning of a valid marriage – but they don’t recognize civil ceremonies!

Good luck!

Post # 5
193 posts
Blushing bee

@mizunoheaven: When you consult your priest in regards to a catholic wedding, he will probably ask about a prenuptial agreement. To Catholics, there should be no impediment to a full merging of lives within marriage, and they’re fully aware of the popularity of prenuptial agreements. I suppose that isn’t a hard and fast rule that he’ll ask them about it, but we looked into having a catholic ceremony (I was raised catholic) and opted out because we would be required to attend too many classes, meetings with the priest, and would have to wait to find out if the church would allow us to get married. The Catholics are strict.

I asked whether she was having a catholic ceremony, though, because my understanding is that the R.C. church will recognize all marriages that began with a religious ceremony (perhaps they only mean "Christian" ceremony, but I’m not clear here). They do not, like I said before, recognize civil ceremonies.

So if she and her husband get married *outside* the Catholic church, but still have a religious wedding, the church will most likely recognize the marriage as valid. However, they might not agree to perform the ceremony themselves if they’re aware that a prenuptial agreement is in place.

Post # 6
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’d ask your priest but I believe a pre-nup is grounds for annulment as far as the RC church is concerned.

Post # 7
2640 posts
Sugar bee

Wow, I think I’ll research some of this, if no one else chimes in.  Wow, grounds for an annulment?  I certainly wouldn’t think the Church would support pre-nups.

@CellarDoor -I’m not sure about the Church recognizing marriages outside the church.  As I understand it, on one hand, it considers you married if you are seeking to get remarried, after you’ve already been married (outside the church.)  In other words, you would have to go through the proces of annulment, in order to have your second marriage in the Church.  But if you are married outside the Church, and a practicing Catholic, it would consider you living in sin, if you didn’t get it convalidated.  You would be in the state of mortal sin, and not able to receive communion, etc.

Post # 8
193 posts
Blushing bee

@ Tanya – While I have no idea about the sin aspect, you’re right that the Church might not recognize the marriage as a *Catholic* one if they don’t get married within the RC Church itself. But I believe they do recognize it as a marriage, period, so long as you held a religious ceremony. 

I know that doesn’t sound like it makes sense… but I’m 98% sure that it does.

Post # 9
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Prenuptial agreements are generally frowned on by the church because they are seen as a sign that you are not fully commited to marriage for life—because they set forth the conditions for the division of assets upon the parties’ possible divorce. However, a prenuptial agreement is actually any legal contract that describes conditions surrounding marriage. So it could appeal to certain conditions during marriage. For example (I believe), if one partner is a physician, a prenuptial agreement can prevent the other partner’s assets from being seized in the case of medical malpractice lawsuits. This type of prenuptial agreement would not contradict the church’s principles (though you would still have to get it approved by the powers that be, doubltlessly). But any agreement that mentions divorce would not be allowed as a manner of course.

In re: Catholic recognition of civil ceremonies, here is how it works. The rules and recognition depend on the religions of the bride and groom and any previous permissions obtained:

  • Catholic + Catholic partners

    • Catholic church (CC): legally and spiritually recognized
    • Anywhere else (including civil ceremonies and other religions): Needs convalidation

  • Catholic + Non-Catholic partners

    • CC: legally and spiritually recognized
    • Anywhere else: If before the marriage, needs dispensation (permission) from the bishop to occur in the non-Catholic person’s church. If the marriage has already happened without dispensation, needs convalidation

  • Non-Catholic + Non-Catholic partners

    • CC: n/a
    • Anywhere else: Legally and spiritually recognized 

As regards convalidation, needing one is sort of like being in a state of limbo. You’re married, but still not quite playing by all the rules. It’s not like if you were married in a civil ceremony (if you’re Catholic or not, doesn’t matter), and then divorced, that you would be allowed to get married in the Catholic church as if the first marriage had never happened just because it wasn’t in the Catholic church (or any church). The church would still have considered you married and you would have to get an annulment in the case of any previous legal marriages.

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