Invalid Marriage


This is a bit of an odd question, but I’m wondering what happens if you realise your marriage could be annulled even though you don’t want to do so.

For example, a Catholic is married in the Church and the spouse is not open to life, or thinks that divorce is totally possible, or anything else that would allow for an annulment. They want to stay together though… are they married? Would they have to live as brother and sister until the non-Catholic spouse ‘came around’ and they had the marriage con-validated?

This isn’t relevant in my life, I was just wondering and thought I’d ask to see if anybody had any thoughts. :o


The Church presumes their marriage valid until it’s proven not to be. They should also presume it’s valid and act accordingly.


Awesome, thanks :slight_smile:


Can.* 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

Can.* 1061 §3. An invalid marriage is called putative if at least one party celebrated it in good faith, until both parties become certain of its nullity.

Can.* 1107 Even if a marriage was entered into invalidly by reason of an impediment or a defect of form, the consent given is presumed to persist until its revocation is established.

Can.* 1156 §1. To convalidate a marriage which is invalid because of a diriment impediment, it is required that the impediment ceases or is dispensed and that at least the party conscious of the impediment renews consent.

§2. Ecclesiastical law requires this renewal for the validity of the convalidation even if each party gave consent at the beginning and did not revoke it afterwards.

Can.* 1157 The renewal of consent must be a new act of the will concerning a marriage which the renewing party knows or thinks was null from the beginning.

Can.* 1158 §1. If the impediment is public, both parties must renew the consent in canonical form, without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 1127, §2.

§2. If the impediment cannot be proven, it is sufficient that the party conscious of the impediment renews the consent privately and in secret, provided that the other perseveres in the consent offered; if the impediment is known to both parties, both are to renew the consent.

Can.* 1159 §1. A marriage which is invalid because of a defect of consent is convalidated if the party who did not consent now consents, provided that the consent given by the other party perseveres.

§2. If the defect of consent cannot be proven, it is sufficient that the party who did not consent gives consent privately and in secret.

§3. If the defect of consent can be proven, the consent must be given in canonical form.


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