What’s A Devout Catholic To Do?
Much has been written about the many changes in the Catholic Church that have liberalized some aspects of church doctrine. But the church’s attitudes toward divorce have not changed appreciably. And the process for obtaining an annulment can be complicated. Familiarity with what is involved in obtaining a Catholic annulment and sharing that information with a Catholic client can be a great service.
For the devout Catholic couple who can no longer live together and to whom divorce is anathema and annulment not a possibility, the Texas Family Code offers solutions that were not available before passage of the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) in 1997. Part 2 of the UPAA sets out the rights of married persons to partition and exchange marital property then existing or to be acquired, and also provides for the married couple the right to agree that the income from separate property shall be separate. So, today couples can make agreements dividing their community property and income as completely as could be accomplished by a divorce court, with future earnings becoming separate property as if the couple were no longer married.
In presenting these alternatives to my Catholic clients, I have been gratified to see the relief on their faces when they learn that they can achieve the desired result of living totally separate lives without having to violate their religious commitments. And negotiating those agreement utilizing the collaborative law process can ensure that their future interactions won’t be acrimonious and disruptive of family relations that remain central to their lives.