Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A judicial severance of matrimonal bonds.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The legal separation of man and wife, effected, for cause, by the judgment of a court, and either totally dissolving the marriage relation or suspending its effects so far as concerns the cohabitation of the parties. Atherton v. Atherton, 181 U. S. 155, 21 Sup. Ct. 544, 45 L. Ed. 794; Miller v. Miller, 33 Cal. 355; Cast v. Cast, 1 Utah, 112. The dissolution is termed "divorce from the bond of matrimony," or, in the Latin form of the expression, "a vinculo matnmoniij" the suspension, "divorce from bad and board," "a mensa et thoro." The former divorce puis an end to the marriage; the latter leaves it in full force. 2 Bish. Mar. & Div. § 225. The term "divorce" ls now applied, in England, bath to decrees of nullity and decrees of dissolution of marriage, while in America it is used only in cases of divorce a mensa or a vinculo, a decree of nullity of marriage being granted for the causes for which a divorce a vinculo was formerly obtainable in England.
    —Divorce a mensa et thoro. A divorce from table and bed, or from bed and board. A partial or qualified divorce, by which the parties are separated and forbidden to live or cohabit together, without affecting the marriage itself. 1 Bl. Comm. 440 ; 3 Bl. Comm. 94 ; 2 Steph. Comm. 311; 2 Bish. Mar. & Div. § 225; Miller v. Clark, 23 Ind. 370; Rudolph v. Rudolph (Super. Buff.) 12 N. Y. Supp. 81; Zule v. Zule, 1 N. J. Eq. 99.
    —Divorce a vinculo matrimonii. A divorce from the bond of marriage. A total divorce of husband and wife, dissolving the marriage tie, and releasing the parties wholly from their matrimonial obligations. 1 Bl. Comm. 440; 2 Steph. Comm. 310, 311; 2 Bish. Mar. & Div. § 225; De Roche v. De Roche, 12 N. D. 17. 94 N. W. 770,
    —Foreign divorce. A divorce obtained out of the state or country where the marriage was solemnized. 2 Kent, Comm. 106, et seq
    —Limited divorce. A divorce from bed and board ; or a judicial separation of husband and wife not dissolving the marriage tie. Divortium dicitur a divertendo, qula vir divertitur ab uxore. Co.. Litt. 235. Divorce is calied from divertendo, because a man is diverted from hls wlfe.