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Catholic Weddings

Prenup

I'm just wondering, will the Catholic church still marry us if we sign a prenup.  I never considered that they wouldn't before, but I have been reading disputing things on whether or not the Church will still marry with a prenup or not.

We have no intentions of ever getting divorced but it would just be a peace of mind for both of us since he inherited a lot of money from his father and I have a lot of student loan debt etc. We are both just protecting ourselves.  But if it is against the Church, we obviously aren't going to do it.

Does anyone know?
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Re: Prenup

  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011

    to my knowledge, it isnt against the Church to have a prenup.

    if your priest asks you if you have one, dont lie.  but i doubt he will - ours didnt ask us and we were a slighly older than norm couple so it was quite possible that we would have had significant assets from the 10+ years we lived as single adults prior to meeting/marrying.

  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    CANON 1102

    §1 Marriage cannot be validly contracted subject to a condition concerning the future.

    §2 Marriage entered into subject to a condition concerning the past or the present is valid or not, according as whatever is the basis of the condition exists or not.

    §3 However, a condition as mentioned in §2 may not lawfully be attached except with the written permission of the local Ordinary.


    Probably not a good idea to have a pre-nup.  It's a civil agreement, but the church can probably still deny you if they don't think the marriage will last, etc.

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  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies!  I was a little scared to ask this.  I've been a Catholic my whole life and I've never heard that it wasn't allowed in the Catholic church, but I'd rather find out before we sign one then when its too late because we absolutely 100% want to be married in the Church and I would be heartbroken if I couldn't!
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  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'd ask your priest.  Because if you do sign one and it has the wrong conditions in it, it looks like your marriage won't be "valid."  I'd probably have it drafted up by your lawyer and your priest approve it so as to make sure that there isn't anything in there that goes against canon law.
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  • lisa89760lisa89760 member
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My priest didn't even ask us.  I always thought they were independent of one another.
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  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    This is very interesting! To me it reads that you can't make your marriage contingent upon anything - which wouldn't preclude you from assigning assets to parties down the road. Like, you can't say that the marriage will be null if the wife/husband doesn't make x amount of money, have x many kids, etc. This is different than saying which assets are assigned to each spouse. I wonder if there is another law that covers this idea?

    But, I would probably speak to more than one priest about this because I think too many priests know and understand all of canon law and it's too important to rely on bad information!

    Let us know what happens, I'm curious as to the priests response!

  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Mine didn't ask.

    I liked the wikipedia article.  I think that having a prenup if one of you has children from a prior marriage that protects their assets is probably fine.  Other prenups that already divide your assets or assign marriage payouts in the case of divorce or dictate that the couple with have x number of children would not be appropriate for Catholics to have and should send red flags of warning to the priest.

    I'd talk with your priest about your concerns and your plans for a pre-nup to make sure everything is okay.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    2 types as Mica said

    THe one kind "in case of divorce" invalidates a marriage automatically.

    The other kind with kids/inhertance (A mother marries someone and then passes away, the "prenup" makes sure the money stays with the children. This can be acceptable.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies!  I'm not home yet because I'm finishing up my classes at school, but I'm going to ask my priest when I get back home.  That was the reason I asked here first, because I'm not anywhere near my priest and the church office is closed this week since it is the week after Easter.

    I will definitely let you all know what he says!
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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I can't imagine the Church having a problem with prenups. 

    I had one and my daughter had one as they were required by a family trust, never thought twice about it.

    Even if you don't have private assets, a prenup would also protect you if your spouse died intestate.  Don't think that everything that is "yours" in a marriage is also "yours' after a spouse dies. 

    There was a young woman on here a while back who lost her husband of 18 months in an accident.  He had no will or prenup and his wife lost most of his share of their property to his family.

    No one starts out thinking divorce or death but they do happen so protect yourself.
  • edited December 2011
    I think your best bet is to get a detailed will in the event of your deaths.

    I haven't done much research, but knowing what I know from the annulment process, the church expects marriage to last a lifetime, and for it to be valid, you have to intend for it to last for a lifetime, no exceptions. So to make preparations in advance for the possible demise of your marriage would violate those teachings, so while your Priest may not refuse to marry you, it is a possibility.

    Plus, if your student loans were your debt prior to marriage, they cannot become your husband's in the event of divorce. Also, if the money was his prior to marriage, and it was kept in an account that you do not have access to, the odds of them giving you any is slim. The only exception to that is if the money is used to purchase a mutual asset, like a home, or if you were entitled to alimony or child support, they could force him to use some of that money to support you or your children. Again, that's all speculation, I'm not an attorney, I've just been through a divorce.

    To be totally honest, if my husband had money, and there was any doubt in his mind that a prenup could do away with, I would strongly reconsider marrying him (not suggesting you should feel this way).

     If I had a large sum of money and my husband had student loans, I would take that money to pay them off, because once we are married, there is no more "my" money, everything becomes "our" money, just like "his" debts become "our" debts. If my FI didn't want to do that, I would again question the relationship. There's no reason for us to be in debt if there's money to pay it off, it doesn't matter who's debt it was or who the money belonged to.

    Just my perspective.
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Mrs.C

    I understand your points totally but sometimes prenups can't be prevented if they are ordered by a family trust.  That requires all events stipulated, death, divorce, children as heirs, etc.  It never occured to me to even ask but I knew I had to have one and knew my daughter did as well.

    The priests never brought it up in either case but I'm pretty sure the deacon who performed the wedding did as he was the bride's uncle.  damn, maybe he didn't.

    I never gave it a second thought.  Well, what's done is done
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011

    i see the canon law posted, but i dont see how earmarking certain financials would be a "condition" of the marriage.

  • edited December 2011
    That's why these things are very case-by-case and really require the advice and guidance of a very knowlegable priest (or several). There is also going to be a lot of effect on the division of assets upon death or divorce from the state in which you are living at that time. Marital property laws vary widely by state.

    From casual conversations I've had on the topic (because I thought pre-nups made a marriage automatically invalid), protection of children and assets might be ok reasons to have one, if it is written well and, again, with appropriate guidance.
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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I checked this morning and and was told  not to worry about it and then he laughed and asked me if I planned on being Donald Trump's next wife.

    The type of prenup that we had protects an inanimate object, a trust, and I have no conrol over it, ever.

    Perhaps to err on the side of caution, OP, ask your priest as pps suggested.  If it's money that his father left him, it could very well be protected by a trust agreement which you cannot control.  Nor would I hold that agreement against him
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Prenup:
    [QUOTE]I can't imagine the Church having a problem with prenups.  I had one and my daughter had one as they were required by a family trust, never thought twice about it. Even if you don't have private assets, a prenup would also protect you if your spouse died intestate.  Don't think that everything that is "yours" in a marriage is also "yours' after a spouse dies.  There was a young woman on here a while back who lost her husband of 18 months in an accident.  He had no will or prenup and his wife lost most of his share of their property to his family. No one starts out thinking divorce or death but they do happen so protect yourself.
    Posted by ootmother2[/QUOTE]

    Well...   The bolded part is going to vary depending on your state, how it regards prenuptial agreements, whether certain provisions in prenuptial agreements are permitted, whether the prenuptial agreement can be challenged, what the relevant intestacy laws say, etc.  Wills (drafted by a lawyer, not the kind downloaded off the internet that might not be valid in your particular state) are usually the best way to ensure that assets pass in the way you or your spouse want them to.

    Anyway.

    I like the way the wikipedia article explained the Church's teaching on prenuptial agreements.  OP, I'd definitely talk to your priest prior to the drafting of any prenuptial agreement, to find out what would be OK, and then have him review it once it's drafted to make sure it doesn't violate canon law.  (If the diocese has canon lawyers around, maybe they would be willing to review it too?)
  • IrishcurlsIrishcurls member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hm, although neither FI nor I have a reason for a prenup, our deacon did ask during our interrogation. I was sort of taken aback by it but maybe it varies by priest/deacon in how they interpret the cannon law? Like oot said, sometimes they're mandated by trusts etc.OP, I think taking a draft to your priest is definitely the best option. 
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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Prenup:
    [QUOTE]Hm, although neither FI nor I have a reason for a prenup, our deacon did  ask during our interrogation. I was sort of taken aback by it but maybe it varies by priest/deacon in how they interpret the cannon law? Like oot said, sometimes they're mandated by trusts etc.OP, I think taking a draft to your priest is definitely the best option. 
    Posted by Irishcurls[/QUOTE]

    haha, it's a bit late for me now. 

    I'm divorced and my marriage was also annulled by the Church, circumstances I won't state here.

    My daughter checked and was told it's not something she has control over so there is no problem for her.  Fortunately, she has a wonderful marriage and a husband I love as well.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies for all your advice!!!  I'm still haven't had a chance to ask the priest that will be marrying us.  I'm still 5 hours away since I'm at school!!  
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