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Divorce

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Legal History

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"Well-Behaved Women Don't Make History": Rethinking English Family, Law, And History, Danaya C. Wright Jan 2004

"Well-Behaved Women Don't Make History": Rethinking English Family, Law, And History, Danaya C. Wright

UF Law Faculty Publications

In 1857 Parliament finally succumbed to public and political pressure and passed a bill creating a domestic relations court: the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes. This new court for the first time in common-law history, combined the following jurisdictions: the ecclesiastical court's jurisdiction over marital validity and separation; the Chancery court's jurisdiction over child custody and equitable estates; the common-law court's jurisdiction over property; and Parliament's jurisdiction over divorce and marital settlements. Wives were given the legal right to seek a divorce or judicial separation in a court of law, receive custody of the children of the marriage, and …