Let us come to the question of the marriage contract: the Catholic Church does not have a general ban on “prenups”. In some cases, they can be quite valid and useful. There are two different conceptions of marriage contracts: one is that of a marriage contract as a heinous means of excluding a partner from the fruits of the economic partnership to which he would otherwise be entitled under the law. The other point of view is a romantic agreement between two adults who are ready to take this big step towards marriage with their carefully defined finances. Whatever your client`s opinion, it`s safe to say that religion doesn`t come to most people`s minds when they think of a prenutial agreement (also known as a marriage contract). However, as more and more people marry outside of their own races, religions, and beliefs, religion has become an increasingly important aspect as people consider a lifelong commitment to their economic partner and spouse. However, some courts do not appreciate this innate problem when they classify a Mahr as a marriage contract. For example, in New Jersey, the court in Chaudry v. Chaudry, 388 AD 2d 1000 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div.
1978), noted that the Mahr Agreement was a marriage contract, so it replaced alimony payments or equitable distribution and gave the wife only $1,500 of her deferred Mahr instead of half of her wealthy husband`s estate. It is suggested that the priest or deacon question the couple about the possible existence of a marriage contract at the first meeting with questions about the possible existence of a previous marriage. The couple should understand that a marriage contract for religious reasons can be an obstacle to marriage in the Catholic Church. A legal document that protects the separate property of the intended spouses can undermine and invalidate the cohabitation essential to a marriage. Jake`s lawyer`s comment suggests that this might not be enough. In this case, a prenutial agreement to deal with what happens “when one of us dies… ” would be fully consistent with the Church`s teaching that marriage is “unto death.” As divorces become more common, many engaged couples are asking the question, “What if we can`t make it?” The concern is not always about securing the financial assets of those who marry from different states of wealth. Sometimes a spouse who includes a second marriage wants to protect their children`s inheritance from the first marriage, and a marriage contract can be as relevant for items of sentimental value as it is for items of monetary value. A: The existence of a marriage contract is not automatically considered a reason for a marriage to be declared void by a Catholic court, but a “prenup” can be problematic from a Catholic point of view. These contracts usually guarantee property rights and financial rights in the event of divorce. Since the conclusion of a marriage contract may indicate a predisposition to consider marriage as temporary and not “until death separates us”, the reason why a couple entered into a marriage contract is important to understand the possible impact on the validity of the marriage.
To be validly married, the couple must intend to marry as the Church does: this marriage is a partnership of the totality of life in which the spouse offers himself to the other. Entering into a marriage contract may indicate that the spouse is not giving everything to the other – and is not thinking of “ours” instead, but of “mine” and “his”. Couples who enter “prenups” may also not intend for the marriage to be indissoluble, as they are considering the possibility of divorce by taking certain security precautions to protect their property when the relationship ends. .