Marriage and Divorce

R. H. Helmholz

in The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780198258971
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681882 | DOI:

Series: The Oxford History of the Laws of England Series ISBN 0-19-961352-4

Marriage and Divorce

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This chapter details the law of marriage and divorce and the role the church played in it. In England judicial competence over matrimonial litigation belonged to the church and it was widely accepted. The English church succeeded in maintaining its jurisdiction over marriage until long after the period covered by this volume. Though, despite its recognized judicial competence, the church's rules about marriage did not command the obedience of large numbers of ordinary men and women. Roman and Germanic traditions, which had treated questions of marriage formation as private matters, seem almost to have lived on, long after the formation of the classical canon law on marriage and its implementation in court practice. As was true elsewhere in Europe, questions about the formation of marriage provided the chief source of matrimonial litigation that was brought before the English ecclesiastical courts.

Keywords: marriage; divorce; ecclesiastical; litigation; judicial; Europe

Chapter.  23264 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Law

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