putative marriage

(Latin: putare, to think)

If a couple are not really married but are publicly reported to be man and wife, and at least one of them believes that they are lawfully married, the supposed marriage is called putative. As long as the good faith of at least one of them endures, such a marriage has the effects of lawful wedlock in regard to the legitimation of the offspring.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author