—divorceable, adj. —divorcer, n. —divorcive, adj./di vawrs", -vohrs"/, n., v. divorced, divorcing.n.1. a judicial declaration dissolving a marriage in whole or in part, esp. one that releases the husband and wife from all matrimonial obligations. Cf. judicial separation.2. any formal separation of husband and wife according to established custom.3. total separation; disunion: a divorce between thought and action.v.t.4. to separate by divorce: The judge divorced the couple.5. to break the marriage contract between oneself and (one's spouse) by divorce: She divorced her husband.6. to separate; cut off: Life and art cannot be divorced.v.i.7. to get a divorce.[1350-1400; ME < AF < L divortium separation, equiv. to divort(ere), var. of DIVERTERE to DIVERT + -ium -IUM]Syn. 6. dissociate, divide, disconnect, split, disjoin.
* * *Dissolution of a valid marriage, usually freeing the parties to remarry.In societies in which religious authority is strong and the religion holds that marriage is indissoluble (e.g., Roman Catholicism, Hinduism), divorce may be difficult and rare. In the U.S. at the beginning of the 21st century there was about one divorce for every two marriages. The rate of divorce in the U.S. is greater than it is in most other Western countries, though divorce rates climbed in those countries in the last decades of the 20th century. 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. See also annulment.
* * *the act by which a valid marriage (marriage law) is dissolved, usually freeing the parties to remarry. In regions in which ancient religious authority still predominates, divorce may be difficult and rare, especially when, as among Roman Catholics and Hindus, the religious tradition views marriage as indissoluble. (For Jewish tradition of divorce, see geṭ (get).) Custom, however, may make divorce a simple matter in some societies. Among some Pueblo Indian (Pueblo Indians) tribes a woman could divorce her husband by leaving his moccasins on the doorstep. The principles of individual determination and mutual consent are making divorce increasingly acceptable in the industrialized parts of the world.Among premodern societies, the rate of marital stability is difficult to measure because of the varying definitions of marriage and divorce. It seems to be broadly true that wherever divorce is a legal impossibility the wedding is a well-defined event conducted with considerable formality. The contrary principle does not hold true: elaborate marriage ceremonial is quite compatible with high divorce rates. Many anthropologists agree that divorce is generally more permissible in matrilineal societies than in patrilineal ones, in which the procreative and sexual rights of the bride are often symbolically transferred to the husband with the payment of bride-price. See also family.
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