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[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.
: 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
: an intentional cessation of cohabitation between spouses
: 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
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
: to obtain a divorce
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.