divorce

A legal separation of married persons. It is of three kinds: from the bond of matrimony, which is called an absolute divorce; from the bed, which makes lawful the denial of the marriage debt; from bed and board, which denies the rights of cohabitation. The last two do not cause the cessation of the bond of marriage, and are self-explanatory. For a release from the bond of matrimony in the case of a non-consummated Christian marriage, see dissolution of a marriage and for the dissolving of the bond of a marriage contracted validly by unbaptized persons, one of whom afterwards was baptized in the Catholic Church, see Pauline privilege. Except in these special cases, the matrimonial bond, once validly contracted, is indissoluble except by death. The State, the civil power, has no right whatever to grant divorces. It has the power to regulate marriages by license, registration, etc., but it has no authority to annul a valid marriage. Statistics prove that the number of divorces is increasing.

New Catholic Dictionary

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