A report on Divorce

"Just Divorced!" hand-written on an automobile's rear window.
Roman married couple.
Henry VIII of England broke with the Catholic Church in order to obtain an annulment.
Joséphine, first wife of Napoleon, obtained the civil dissolution of her marriage under the Napoleonic Code of 1804.
Marilyn Monroe signing divorce papers with celebrity attorney Jerry Giesler.

Process of terminating a marriage or marital union.

- Divorce
"Just Divorced!" hand-written on an automobile's rear window.

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Alimony

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Alimony (also called aliment (Scotland), maintenance (England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Canada, New Zealand), spousal support (U.S., Canada) and spouse maintenance (Australia) ) is a legal obligation on a person to provide financial support to their spouse before or after marital separation or divorce.

Public punishment of adulterers in Venice, 17th century

Adultery

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Extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds.

Extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds.

Public punishment of adulterers in Venice, 17th century
Susannah accused of adultery, by Antoine Coypel
Anne Boleyn was found guilty of adultery and treason and executed in 1536. There is controversy among historians as to whether she had actually committed adultery.
Le supplice des adultères, by Jules Arsène Garnier, showing two adulterers being punished
Man and woman undergoing public exposure for adultery in Japan, around 1860
'Thou shalt not commit adultery' (Nathan confronts David); bronze bas-relief on the door of the La Madeleine, Paris, Paris.
An Aztec adulterer being stoned to death; Florentine Codex
According to legend, after being accused of adultery, Cunigunde of Luxembourg proved her innocence by walking over red-hot ploughshares.
Joan II of Navarre – her paternity and succession rights were disputed her whole life because her mother Margaret of Burgundy was claimed to have committed adultery.
Inca woman and man to be stoned for adultery, by Huamán Poma
Jesus and the woman taken in adultery by Julius Schnorr von Karolsfeld, 1860, where Jesus said that the man who was without sin should throw the first stone.
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However, even in jurisdictions that have decriminalised adultery, it may still have legal consequences, particularly in jurisdictions with fault-based divorce laws, where adultery almost always constitutes a ground for divorce and may be a factor in property settlement, the custody of children, the denial of alimony, etc. Adultery is not a ground for divorce in jurisdictions which have adopted a no-fault divorce model.

Divorce law by country

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This article is a general overview of divorce laws around the world.

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Marriage

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Culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses.

Culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses.

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Swedish royal wedding clothes from 1766 at Livrustkammaren in Stockholm
Indonesian wedding
Nepali wedding
Islamic wedding
Ancient Sumerian depiction of the marriage of Inanna and Dumuzid
In an 1828 "Wife Wanted" advertisement, an Englishman claiming a "great taste for building" pledges to apply a prospective wife's dowry-like £1000+ to build property that will be "settled on her for life".
Family chart showing relatives who, in Islamic Sharia law, would be considered mahrim (or maharem): unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse would be considered incestuous.
An arranged marriage between Louis XIV of France and Maria Theresa of Spain.
Criticism about the Azeri society tradition from domestic violence to the social and political participation of women in the community
Traditional, formal presentation of the bridewealth (also known as "sin sot") at an engagement ceremony in Thailand
Couple married in a Shinto ceremony in Takayama, Gifu prefecture.
A newly married Assyrian couple.
Various advocates of same-sex marriage, such as this protester at a demonstration in New York City against California Proposition 8, consider civil unions an inferior alternative to legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
"Esposas de Matrimonio" ("Wedding Cuffs"), a wedding ring sculpture expressing the criticism of marriages' effects on individual liberty. Esposas is a play on Spanish, in which the singular form of the word esposa refers to a spouse, and the plural refers to handcuffs.
Countries where married women are required by law to obey their husbands as of 2015.
Christ and the woman taken in adultery by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Pinakothek
Magdalene laundries were institutions that existed from the 18th to the late 20th centuries, throughout Europe and North America, where "fallen women", including unmarried mothers, were detained. Photo: Magdalene laundry in Ireland, ca. early 20th century.
Anti-dowry poster in Bangalore, India.
The Outcast, by Richard Redgrave, 1851. A patriarch casts his daughter and her illegitimate baby out of the family home.
Percentage of births to unmarried women, selected countries, 1980 and 2007.
A man and woman exchange rings
Crowning during Holy Matrimony in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church and a part of the Saint Thomas Christian community in India
Christian wedding in Kyoto, Japan
Russian orthodox wedding ceremony
A couple following their marriage in the Manti Utah Temple
Newlywed couples visit Timur's statues to receive wedding blessings in Uzbekistan.
A Muslim bride of Pakistan origin signing the nikkah nama or marriage certificate.
A Muslim couple being wed alongside the Tungabhadra River at Hampi, India.
A Jewish wedding, painting by Jozef Israëls, 1903
A Ketubah in Hebrew, a Jewish marriage-contract outlining the duties of each partner.
Hindu marriage ceremony from a Rajput wedding.
A Nepali Hindu couple in marriage ceremony.
Seuso and his wife
Woodcut. How Reymont and Melusina were betrothed / And by the bishop were blessed in their bed on their wedlock. From the Melusine, 15th century.
A marriage in 1960 in Italy. Photo by Paolo Monti.
Newlyweds after a civil ceremony in the tower of Stockholm City Hall in 2016
U.S States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws:
No laws passed
Repealed before 1887
Repealed between 1948 and 1967
Overturned on 12 June 1967

Around the world, primarily in developed democracies, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights for women within marriage (including abolishing coverture, liberalizing divorce laws, and reforming reproductive and sexual rights) and legally recognizing the marriages of interfaith, interracial, and same-sex couples.

Child support

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Ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child (or parent, caregiver, guardian) following the end of a marriage or other similar relationship.

Ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child (or parent, caregiver, guardian) following the end of a marriage or other similar relationship.

Child support is often arranged as part of a divorce, marital separation, annulment, determination of parentage or dissolution of a civil union and may supplement alimony (spousal support) arrangements.

Marital separation

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Marital separation occurs when spouses in a marriage stop living together without getting divorced.

Grounds for divorce

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Grounds for divorce are regulations specifying the circumstances under which a person will be granted a divorce.

Le Get (The Divorce), painting by Moshe Rynecki, c. 1930.

Get (divorce document)

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Le Get (The Divorce), painting by Moshe Rynecki, c. 1930.
Postcard illustrating a divorce procedure, Jewish Museum of Switzerland

A get or gett (גט, plural gittin גטין) is a document in Jewish religious law which effectuates a divorce between a Jewish couple.

Annulment

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Legal procedure within secular and religious legal systems for declaring a marriage null and void.

Legal procedure within secular and religious legal systems for declaring a marriage null and void.

Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place (though some jurisdictions provide that the marriage is only void from the date of the annulment; for example, this is the case in section 12 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in England and Wales).

Child custody

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Legal term regarding guardianship which is used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent or guardian and a child in that person's care.

Legal term regarding guardianship which is used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent or guardian and a child in that person's care.

Decisions about child custody typically arise in proceedings involving divorce, annulment, separation, adoption or parental death.