Catholic Dictionary

Term

PUTATIVE MARRIAGE

Definition

A marriage that is invalid but was contracted in good faith by at least one member. Until ther is positive ecclesiastical proof of nullity, such a marriage has all the effects of lawful wedlock. Children of such a marriage are legitimate, and illegitimate children are legitimatized by a putative marriage. (Etym. Latin putare, to trim, cleans; to think over, consider.)