a mensa et thoro
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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.
a mensa et thoroliterally ‘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.
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.