9 Apr

Catholic Church View On Prenuptial Agreement


Entering into marriage with the intention of giving entirely of oneself helps to prosper marriages. Studies have shown that unions tend to thrive with joint financial accounts open to children, for example. The Church encourages couples to marry the graces of the Last Supper and to trust the Lord to help the couple remain true to their vows: to give of themselves “every day of their lives.” However, in most cases, prenups are a bad idea and may even call into question the very validity of marriage. … The doctrine of the Church is clear: marriage is permanent and requires unconditional commitment. As a result, Canon 1102 of the Church Code states that “marriage cannot be effectively contracted on a condition for the future.” For example, if a future spouse says, “I will marry you, if you agree, I get half the fortune in the event of divorce,” that is at the heart of the ecclesiastical point of view of marriage. It is suggested that the priest or deacon ask the couple for the possible presence of a conjugal arrangement at the first meeting, as well as questions about the possible presence of a previous marriage. The couple must understand that a marriage for religious reasons can be an obstacle to marriage in the Catholic Church. A legal document protecting the property separated from potential spouses can completely undermine and invalidate the community of life, which is essential for marriage. Or does a marital agreement indicate that the couple doesn`t really make a promise “until death separates us,” but simply promises to love each other as long as dinner is tasty and sex is good? It is, of course, easy to imagine terms in pre-marital agreements that run counter to the Church`s teaching on marriage. As far as I know, they represent the vast majority of pre-nups currently in force. Such documents cannot be signed in good conscience. But one can also imagine in a pre-Nup terms that fully correspond, even support, to the Church`s teaching on marriage.

Indeed, one could build a pre-nup that is deliberately counter-cultural and which, even if certain parts come into play only in the context of divorce (which a recalcitrant party cannot prevent anyway), would prevent a civil divorce in defiance of Christ`s doctrine on marriage. The diktat of Avitzur offers a more indirect way of relieving women. The majority of the New York Court of Appeals found that the Ketubah text proposed that spouses appear before the Bet Din and ruled that the civil court could enforce such an agreement without violating the First Amendment (Separation of State and Religion).

Teck Lee Tan

Field Engineer and Tech Artist at Unity Technologies


You can also find me at:

Post Categories

  • No categories