subsequente copula

subsequente copula

in Scots family law, a form of irregular marriage that took place as at the date of sexual intercourse if a promise to marry had been made before it and the act took place on the faith of it. Clearly, this helped avoid the stigma of children being illegitimate.
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References in periodicals archive ?
An `irregular' marriage, under Scottish law, could be of three kinds: per verba de praesenti (a mutual agreement to marry at that moment), per verba de futuro subsequente copula (a promise to marry in the future followed by sexual intercourse), and `habit and repute' (cohabiting in such a way as to imply that mutual consent to a marriage had been given).