Friday, 22 October 2010


So busy with posts about Ordinariates and such that most blogs seem to have missed the court decision to allow Pre-Nuptial agreements. These are set up to avoid a millionaire having to pay the bulk of his or her fortune to a gold-digging spouse. What no-one seems to notice is that such an agreement would nullify the marriage; for it is setting limits to the "Have and hold - better or worse - richer or poorer" - to say nothing of "with all my worldly goods I thee endow". Surely if a marriage is entered into with its ending foreseen and pre-arranged, it cannot be a lifelong marriage?

I seem to remember that French kings were always married with great splendour in Cathedrals - Rheims or Paris, I think - but despite the presence of Cardinal Archbishops, one person was always excluded - the local parish priest. That was because in law his presence was necessary for a valid marriage; so if things did not work out, it could always be claimed the marriage had been illegal from the start.

Maybe that was just a Protestant canard; but if anyone wanted an easy escape from a marriage, a pre-nuptial agreement might prove equally helpful. If Henry VIII had had such a pre-nup with Catherine of Aragon, maybe there'd have been no Church of England? Now that's a happy thought...


  1. I've always wondered whether a having entered into a pre-nup agreement could be construed as evidence of a doubt that the marriage was intended to be lifelong, or at least the possibility having been considered that it might not last. Could this be seen as evidence of a lack of full consent in the wedding vows - the "'til death us do part" bit?
    Could the existence of a a pre-nup therefore be used as evidence for a future anulment on the grounds of lack of original intent to enter into a permanent marital relationship?

  2. I suspect that it is a protestant canard, if only because the successful marriages and their issue would equally be branded voidable. Result: chaos. Marriage by proxy, however, was equally peculiar, and dynastic first cousin uncle/niece marriages were disastrous for gene health - and I have never understood why the Church permitted them, when they railed against sister-in-law and brother-in-law marriages.