Personality Disorders as a Cause of the Invalidation of Catholic Marriage in Poland

Wiesław Kraiński


Introduction: The institution of marital consent, which is the efficient cause of marriage and its annulment on the grounds of specified personality disorders.
Aim of the study: The research objectives of this study are as follows: determining the proportion of cases on the sole ground of mental incapacity to other grounds of marriage annulment, the number of marriage annulment declarations among clients suffering from personality disorders with a differential diagnosis, age and gender determination of the person requesting marriage annulment – determining the average value and the standard deviation, the duration of marriage until its annulment – determining the average value and the standard deviation, the number of cases in which marriage annulment application is submitted by men and women as well as determining the proportion of cases concluding with the declaration of marriage annulment to those concluding with a negative judgement.
In the research part of the study the following analysis has been carried out, personality disorders leading to the marriage annulment, distinguishing between gender, the etiology of particular disorders as well as dysfunctional areas demonstrated by court experts concerning both marital and family life.
Material and methods: The analysis of psychological opinions extracted from the marriage annulment cases which were considered and judged by the Bishop’s Court in the Diocese of Toruń. The research period stretches over five years between 2012 and 2016,during which court experts in clinical psychology issued their opinions in 156 cases concerning 82 persons.

Conclusions: On the basis of the analysis, the following conclusions can be drawn: the age of applicants requesting marriage annulment: Men – M=37,04; SD=7,90; Women – M=34,98; SD=8,07. Duration of marriage until annulment: – M=13,23; SD=8,24. Marriage annulment requests were submitted by 62 men and 94 women. Marriage was declared null and void in 122 cases whereas the negative judgment concerned 36 cases. The conclusions drawn indicate that the predominant disorders resulting in marriage annulment included antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder as well as dependent personality disorder (DPD). The conclusions drawn clearly show that the predominant disorder resulting in the invalidation of marriage is antisocial personality disorder, closely followed by narcissistic personality disorder and finally by dependent personality disorder. Out of 189 cases processed by the court within the period of five years, 156 of them concern mental incapacities whereas the remaining ones concern other cases of marriage annulment.


Invalidation of marriage; personality disorders; mental causes; consensual incapacity

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