IMPEDIMENTS, contracts. Legal objections to the making of a contract. Impediments which relate to the person are those of minority, want of reason, coverture, and the like; they are sometimes called disabilities. Vide Incapacity.
2. In the civil law, this term is used to signify bars to a marriage. These impediments are classed, as they are applied to particular persons, into absolute and relative; as they relate to the contract and its validity, they are dirimant (q. v.) and prohibitive. (q. v.) 1. The absolute impediments are those which prevent the person subject to them from marrying at, all, without either the nullity of marriage, or, its being punishable. 2. The relative impediments are those which regard only certain persons with regard to each other; as, the marriage of a brother to a sister. 3. The dirimant impediments are those which render a marriage void; as, where one of the contracting parties is already married to another person. 4. Prohibitive impediments are those which do not render the marriage null, but subject the parties to a punishment. Bowy. Mod. Civ. Law, 44, 45.