Mensa Et Thoro

Mensa Et Thoro

[Latin, From bed and board.] A type of Divorce that is a partial termination of the duties of a marital relationship.

A divorce mensa et thoro is one that does not provide a Husband and Wife with the right to remarry but that permits them to live separately. Such a divorce does not dissolve the marriage but amounts to a legal separation.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

MENSA ET THORO. The phrase a mensa et thoro is applied to a divorce which separates the husband and wife but does not dissolve the marriage. Vide Divorce.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, as we all know, sometimes it is simply impossible for a marriage to continue, so the acceptable out was a legal separation called divorce a mensa et thoro, a divorce from bed and board.
Ecclesiastical courts in England had jurisdiction over the marriage relationship, and most spouses wishing to live apart could only hope for a church-sanctioned divorce a mensa et thoro, which was not an actual divorce, but a "separation from bed and board."(3)
Alimony was created by the English ecclesiastical courts at the time a divorce a mensa et thoro was granted.