Can you marry a dead person?

March 24th, 2012

You can in France!

Meanwhile, the pregnant girlfriend of a French soldier killed by Mohamed has been granted permission to wed her partner posthumously, a family lawyer said on Saturday.

The paratrooper Abel Chennouf was shot dead this month at a cash machine in Montauban, southern France.

The lawyer, Gilbert Collard, said Chennouf’s pregnant girlfriend, 21-year-old Caroline Monet, is applying for permission to get married to her late partner at an official ceremony in a few weeks.

Such ceremonies are unusual but not unheard of in France, where the law allows posthumous marriages in cases where a fiance dies before the wedding. The law states that such weddings can only be approved by the French president “in grave circumstances”.

“I’ve already had it done twice, for policemen’s girlfriends,” Collard said. “It’s a really moving ceremony, with an empty chair representing the dead spouse.”

Collard said the official request was being sent out on Saturday but he’d already received approval from the French president’s office.

“There won’t be any problems,” Collard said, adding that he hoped the ceremony would “let the child have a father”.

I wonder if these laws were created to prevent a child from being born as an illegitimate (which, back in the day, could be quite bad).