Mgr Anna JUZASZEK
Doctoral School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Law and Administration, Jagiellonian University in Kraków
English abstract: In some Western European countries, for a few years now there has been an intense debate concerning the phenomenon of religious-only marriages, solemnized through a religious ceremony. From the perspective of state law, such religious spouses are treated as cohabitees, which places certain limitations on their rights and obligations compared to married couples recognized by state law. In Poland, there is no ongoing discussion on this matter. Furthermore, there are no data regarding the frequency of such relationships, if any. The main objective of this article is to partially address this gap and initiate a discussion. To achieve this, exploratory research was conducted by analysing judgment justifications available online, focusing on cases where the couples were in exclusively religious marriages. Selected justifications underwent qualitative content analysis using MAXQDA software to gain insights into how judges and other participants in the proceedings approach this type of relationship. Another aim of the article is to highlight the legal challenges that religiously married spouses might encounter and to explore potential solutions in this regard. The research indicates that the marriages in question generally did not elicit consternation or negative attitudes in the analysed cases. On the contrary, both judges and participants in the proceedings typically did not question the significance, depth, and permanent character of family bonds formed through religious-only marriages. However, this approach is not reflected in current legislation, which differentiates the rights and obligations of individuals in intimate relationships based on whether a civil marriage has been contracted, often disregarding the actual nature of the relationship.
Keywords: marriages, religious-only marriages, qualitative content analysis, judgment justifications
Published: Number 4(37)/2023, pp. 54-67.
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