Contingent (marriage law)

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The levy referred to in the marriage law, the public notice of intended marriage. The term comes from church law , but since the introduction of civil marriage there has also been a civil contingent .


An intended marriage was made public with the bid so that any obstacles to marriage, such as an already existing marriage, could be reported. The contingent was prescribed for the first time in 1215 by the fourth Lateran Council . In canon 51 this stipulated that the intention of a marriage should be announced publicly by the priest. This was made more precise at the Council of Trent , the contingent now had to be announced on three consecutive Sundays or holidays both in the church community of the bridegroom and the bride in the service.

Similar rules also applied in the Anglican Church and most Protestant churches, although the German regional churches usually only require a single proclamation or a notice at the church. Since the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1983, the Catholic Church only requires the proclamation on a Sunday, from which the priest can also deliver the engaged couple.

Since the introduction of civil marriage , the state has also requested this. Thus the banns were provided for in the German and Austrian marriage laws . Due to the increasing mobility of people and the electronic management of population registers , the request became more and more a mere formality, since the existence of obstacles to marriage could be ruled out more easily by comparing files than by public notice. As a result, the public contingent in the Federal Republic of Germany was abolished in 1998 and replaced by registration for marriage, as had long been the practice in the GDR. In Swiss marriage law , registration corresponds to the preparatory procedure. In Austria the list was abolished through the repeal of § 16 EheG (Art. II Z 1 BG BGBl. No. 533/1986).

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Resolutions of the 4th Lateran Council (English)
  2. from Canon 1067 of the Codex Iuris Canonici
  3. ^ Meyers New Lexicon in eight volumes. First volume A – Bossuet, Leipzig 1961, p. 479.
  4. Preparatory procedure, Art. 98 Swiss Civil Code