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PRACTICAL TREATISE

OF

The Law of Marriage and Divorce ;

CONTAINING ALSO

THE MODE OF PROCEEDING ON DIVORCES

IN THE

Ecclesiastical Courts and in Parliament ;

THE

RIGHT TO THE CUSTODY OF CHILDREN;

VOLUNTARY SEPARATION BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE;

THE

HUSBAND'S LIABILITY TO WIFE'S DEBTS;

AND THE

CONFLICT BETWEEN THE LAWS OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND

RESPECTING DIVORCE AND LEGITIMACY.

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PHILADELPHIA :

111.jiri

JOHN S. LI T T E L L,

Law Bookseller and Publisher.

AND SOLD BY THE PRINCIPAL BOOKSELLERS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES.

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PRE FACE.

The object of the following work is to reduce into a systematic arrangement the numerous statutes and decisions of the law of Eng. land regulating the Formation and the Dissolution of the Contract of Marriage, and relating to the Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages. The Remedies for the Violation of Matrimonial Engagements are considered; but the rights of property consequent upon the relation between husband and wife involve questions of too extensive a nature to be included within the limits assigned to this work, except in so far as such rights are connected with the dissolution or the violation of the marriage contract.

It must be admitted, that there exists no branch of law more important in any point of view to the great interests of society, and to the personal comforts of its members, than the subject of this work.

Although the law relating to marriage is for ordinary purposes sufficiently plain and well understood, and but few questions, in comparison with the number of marriages, arise, or require judicial determination; yet it is presumed that a general view of the nature and extent of the materials bearing upon the subject, will make it sufficiently apparent that an attempi to bring them under one point of consideration cannot be deemed a work of supererogation.

The work includes the Law of Marriage in Ireland, which remains in nearly the same state as it existed in England prior to the first marriage act, 26 Geo. 2, c. 33. The law of marriage, divorce, and legitimacy in Scotland, which presents so remarkable a contrast to the law of England upon those subjects, is considered. This part of the work necessarily includes the important question whether marriages of English parties, according io the law of England, which does not allow the dissolution of marriage by judicial sentence, may, nevertheless, be legally dissolved by a decree of a Scottish Court, on grounds competent to that effect by the law of Scotland.

The Law of Marriage in the British Colonies, respecting which many important regulations have been recently made, is included. The author, having been kindly allowed access to the library of the Colonial Office, has stated the general result of his researches, by referring to several acts of the colonial legislature, and, in some instances, by adding some of their provisions, which are too numerous and long for insertion in this work. It may be observed that many of

the regulations adopted by the colonies are analogous to those existing in England.

The work also embraces the Law applicable to the Marriages of British Subjects in Foreign Countries, so far as the validity of such marriages depends upon the rules adopted by the English courts of justice.

The Separation of Husband and Wife by their voluntary act, without the interposition of judicial sentence, appeared to be too intimately connected with the subject of the treatise to be properly omitted. This has led to the consideration of Deeds of Separation, and other matters incident to the separation of husband and wife, respecting which questions not unfrequently arise.

The Author is not without hope that the work will be found to contain such matters of general interest and importance, and to possess such accuracy in the deduction of principles and method in the arrangement, as will ensure its favourable reception by the profession and the public.

Those who are best acquainted with the assistance afforded by separate treatises on law, and the labour attendant upon the compilation of an original treatise on any comprehensive subject of English law in its present intricate and voluminous state, will be disposed 10 treat with candour and indulgence any defects which may be discovered in the execution of a work, even though it possess no merit beyond that of lessening the labour of others, by affording facility of reference to the authorities upon which it is founded.

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