(In ecclesiastical law) a factor which invalidates a marriage, such as the existence of a prior marriage.
- The reason for this is that a prior marriage is only a diriment impediment to marriage, when it is truly valid.
- If a diriment impediment exists and consent is exchanged, no marriage is contracted.
- On its completion the novice makes the usual vows of religion, the simple vow of chastity in the Society having the force of a diriment impediment to matrimony.
Mid 19th century: diriment from Latin diriment- 'interrupting', from the verb dirimere.
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