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Victoria Court Divorces
Somes Legal Terms Used

Conjugal rights. The rights and privileges arising from the marriage relationship, especially the mutual rights of companionship, aid, and sexual relations.
Decree nisi. A decree that will become absolute at a later date.
Divorce. The legal separation of man and wife, effected, for cause, by the judgement, of a court, and either totally dissolving the marriage relation, or suspending its effects so far as concerns the cohabitation of the parties. Sometimes it includes 'annulment'.

The dissolution is termed 'divorce from the bond of matrimony,' or, in Latin form of expression, 'à vinculo matrimonii,' the suspension, 'divorce from bed and board,' - 'à mensâ et thoro.' The former divorce puts an end to the marriage; the latter leaves it in full force.
Divorce à mensâ et thoro. A divorce from table and bed, or from bed and board. A partial or qualified divorce, by which the partes are separated and forbidden to live or cohabit together, without affecting the marriage itself.
Feme sole. 1. An unmarried woman, whether spinster, widow, or divorcée. 2 A married woman who is independent of her husband with respect to property.
Jactitation of marriage. A false declaration an individual that he or she has married another, from which it may happen that they will acquire the reputation of being married to each other.
Judicial separation. A separation which is more formal than simply living apart but which yet falls short of divorce. Not a divorce and the parties remain married but, in effect, all the normal marital obligations come to an end. A decree of judicial separation was granted for any of the grounds which would justify a divorce (unreasonable behaviour, adultery etc.) but it was not necessary to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

There seem to be three main reasons why the parties to a marriage sought a decree of judicial separation rather than a divorce: (1) At least one of the parties to the marriage was opposed to divorce for some reason - typically for religious reasons. (2) There was an absolute bar to divorce within the first year of a marriage and so judicial separation was available if the parties were determined to formalise the break by court proceedings within that first year. (3) For some reason it may be difficult to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage necessary for a divorce.

A decree of judicial separation had three main effects: (1) The parties no longer were obliged to live together; (2) The court could exercise all the powers it had to divide the matrimonial property etc., just as it could in the case of a divorce; and (3) The decree operated just like a divorce in terms of its effect on any will - the spouse no longer took any benefit unless a new will was made specifically stating that was to be the case.
Nisi prius. A trial court for the hearing of civil cases before a judge and jury.
Null and Void Declaring a marriage null and void is different to divorce because divorce is a declaration ending a valid marriage. Nullity is a declaration that a valid marriage never existed. Marriage were declared null and void for impotence, adultery, cruelty, pre-contract, or within prohibited degrees of consanguinity.