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FINDLAW LEGAL DICTIONARY

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Divorce

divorce n

[Middle French, from Latin divortium , from divortere divertere to leave one's marriage partner, from di- away, apart + vertere to turn]
: the dissolution of a valid marriage granted esp. on specified statutory grounds (as adultery) arising after the marriage compare annulment NOTE: The most common grounds for divorce are absence from the marital home, drug or alcohol addiction, adultery, cruelty, conviction of a crime, desertion, insanity, and nonsupport.

absolute divorce
: a divorce that completely and permanently dissolves the marital relationship and terminates marital rights (as property rights) and obligations (as fidelity)

divorce a men·sa et tho·ro
[-ā-men-sə-et-thȯr-ō, -Ä -men-sÄ -et-thō-rō]
: a separation governed by a court order
: legal separation

divorce a vin·cu·lo mat·ri·mo·nii
[-ā-vi-ky-lō-ma-trə-mō-nē-ī, -Ä -vi-kü-lō-mÄ -trē-mō-nē-ē]
: absolute divorce in this entry

limited divorce
: an intentional cessation of cohabitation between spouses
: separation

no-fault divorce
: an absolute divorce that is not based on either spouse's fault and that is granted usually on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown or when husband and wife have lived apart for a statutorily specified period of time
vb di·vorced
di·vorc·ing
vt
1 : to dissolve the marriage of (a husband and wife) by judgment or decree of divorce
2 : to sever the marital relationship with (a spouse) by a judgment or decree of divorce
vi
: to obtain a divorce



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.