Divorce, A History

Austin, TX (PressExposure) July 23, 2008 -- Although divorce, as known today, was generally prohibited after the tenth century, separation of husband and wife and the annulment of marriage were well-known.

What is today referred to as “separate maintenance” or "legal separation" was termed “divorce a mensa et thoro” or “divorce from bed-and-board”. The husband and wife physically separated and were forbidden to live or cohabit together; but their marital relationship did not fully terminate. Learn more of divorce with the Hays county divorce.

Civil courts had no power over marriage or divorce. The grounds for annulment were determined by Church authority and applied in ecclesiastical courts. Annulment was known as “divorce a vinculo matrimonii,” or “divorce from all the bonds of marriage,” for canonical causes of impediment existing at the time of the marriage.

The Church held that the sacrament of marriage produced one person from two, inseparable from each other: “By marriage the husband and wife are one person in law: that is, the very being of legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage or at least incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection and cover, she performs everything.”

Marriage later came to be considered a civil contract, and on that basis civil authorities gradually asserted their power to decree divorce.

Since no precedents existed defining the circumstances under which marriage could be dissolved, civil courts heavily relied on the previous determinations of the ecclesiastic courts and freely adopted the requirements set down by those courts. Visit Hays county divorce if you want to learn more regarding divorce procedures.

As the civil courts assumed the power to dissolve marriages, courts still strictly construed the circumstances under which they would grant a divorce, and now considered divorce to be contrary to public policy.

Divorce was granted only because one party to the marriage had violated a sacred vow to the "innocent spouse." If both husband and wife were guilty, "neither would be allowed to escape the bonds of marriage."

Eventually, the idea that a marriage could be dissolved in cases in which one of the parties violated the sacred vow gradually allowed expansion of the grounds upon which divorce could be granted from those grounds which existed at the time of the marriage to grounds which occurred after the marriage, but which exemplified violation of that vow, such as abandonment, adultery, or “extreme cruelty.” For more information about divorce processes and procedures, then visit the Hays county divorce fore more details.

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Press Release Submitted On: July 23, 2008 at 8:00 am
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