a mensa et thoro

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From Latin, “from board and bed.”


a mensa et thoro ‎(not comparable)

  1. (historical, law, of a divorce) Such as not to dissolve the marriage bond, but merely to authorize the husband and wife to live apart from each other.
    • 1864, Benjamin Vaughan Abbott, Austin Abbott, A digest of New York Statutes and Reports: From the earliest period to the year 1860, Volume II, 3rd Edition, page 533,
      A divorce a mensa et thoro, obtained by the wife, is not a bar to her right of dower.
    • 1867, Alexander Mansfield Burrill, Divorce a mensa et thoro, entry in A Law Dictionary and Glossary, page 504,
      By the recent statute 20 & 21 Viet c. 85, § 7, no divorce can in future be granted à mensa et thoro, but a decree of judicial separation is to be pronounced, having the like effect.
    • 2003, B. J. Sokol, Mary Sokol, Shakespeare, Law, and Marriage, page 144,
      The long-defunct possibility of a divorce for adultery allowing remarriage was proposed anew by Cranmer,25 who considered that a divorce a mensa et thoro offended against the duty to cohabit insisted on by the Church.
    • 2006, Shannon McSheffrey, Marriage, Sex, And Civic Culture in Late Medieval London, page 23,
      Under specific circumstances, two other kinds of marriage termination, both called divorce (divorcium), could be declared by the ecclesiastical courts of late medieval England: divorce a mensa et thoro ( “from table and bed”) and divorce a vinculo (“from the bond”). [] Divorce a mensa et thoro resulted in what we would term separation.

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