ETYM French divorce, Latin divortium, from divortere, divertere, to turn different ways, to separate. Related to Divert.
The legal dissolution of a marriage; SYN. divorcement.
Legal dissolution of a lawful marriage. It is distinct from an annulment, which is a legal declaration that the marriage was invalid. The ease with which a divorce can be obtained in different countries varies considerably and is also affected by different religious practices.
In the US divorce laws differ from state to state. The grounds include adultery (in all states), cruelty, desertion, alcoholism, drug addiction, insanity, and declaration of irreconcilable differences or mutual incompatibility. Quick divorces in states with more liberal laws have been restricted by the imposition of minimum residence periods and by the right to challenge the divorce if one party has not been notified of the proceedings. Couples are increasingly negotiating prenuptial agreements that make an advance settlement of division of property and assets, including maintenance provisions. In some states, so-called no-fault divorce laws make divorces readily available to couples with no economic quarrels and with agreeable obligations to children. The Roman Catholic Church does not permit divorce among its members, and under Pope John Paul II conditions for annulment have been tightened. Among Muslims a wife cannot divorce her husband, but he may divorce her by repeating the formula “I divorce you” three.
Times (called talaq). In Shiite law this must be pronounced either once or three times in the presence of two witnesses; in Sunni law it can be either oral or in writing. No reason need be given, nor does the wife have to be notified (although some Muslim countries, for example Pakistan, have introduced such a requirement). Property settlements by careful parents make this a right infrequently exercised. Laws introduced in the USSR in the 1960s made divorce easy and cheap. Maintenance for a wife after divorce decreased in importance, but she was likely to benefit by a more equitable division of property.
Sinonimi: split up
To get a divorce; formally terminate a marriage; SYN. split up.