a mensa et thoro


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Related to a mensa et thoro: Legally separated

A Mensa Et Thoro

Latin, From table and bed, but more commonly translated as "from bed and board."

This phrase designates a Divorce which is really akin to a separation granted by a court whereby a Husband and Wife are not legally obligated to live together, but their marriage has not been dissolved. Neither spouse has the right to remarry where there is a divorce a mensa et thoro; only parties who have been awarded a divorce a vinculo matrimonii, the more common type of divorce, can do so.

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

a mensa et thoro

literally ‘from bed and board’, a form of DIVORCE by way of separation that does not, however, free the parties from the bonds of marriage. In England, before the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857, a decree in these terms from the ecclesiastical courts was equivalent to a decree of judicial separation. In Scotland, prior to the Reformation, this was the only form of divorce known. It is still used in the context of judicial separation.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

A MENSA ET THORO, from bed and board. A divorce a mensa et thoro, is rather a separation of the parties by act of law, than a dissolution of the marriage. It may be granted for the causes of extreme cruelty or desertion of the wife by the husband. 2 Eccl. Rep. 208. This kind of divorce does not affect the legitimacy of children, nor authorize a second marriage. V. A vinculo matrimonii; Cruelty Divorce.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.