Grounds of Invalidity

    The validity of a marriage may be challenged if an individual questions whether a quality essential to marriage was absent from consent at the time of the wedding ceremony. Behavior during the courtship and, to a lesser extent, during the time of cohabitation may give some indication that grounds of invalidity exist. Some forms of behavior such as physical abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, deviant sexual behavior, criminal activity, grave irresponsibility, mental illness, and persistent infidelity may indicate that valid marital consent was not exchanged by one or both parties. Beliefs about marriage contrary to Catholic doctrine may also indicate invalid consent. An intention to exclude children, contrary views about the permanence of marriage and fidelity may also indicate that consent was not exchanged validly. Any infringement of a person’s free choice to marry, fraud, error regarding the identity of the spouse, or extreme internal or external pressure to marry may also indicate that consent was not exchanged validly.  




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