In responsibility was passed to a division of the new Supreme Court. All divorce suits took place in London, thus restricting divorce to wealthier couples. Divorce did not really open up for all classes until the s with the extension of legal aid and the provision of some local facilities. In , ten assize courts were named as suitable for the hearing of certain kinds of divorce and in the years to follow the number of courts hearing divorce cases expanded significantly.
In the late s divorce was taken over by the county courts and most divorces now take place at county courts.
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Each divorce suit created a case file. Most files were stripped of the less formal papers, but some full files were kept as examples of how the court operated.
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Case files are now destroyed 20 years after the divorce. Within this year period, you can apply to the relevant court for permission to see the file.
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You can search surviving case files from onwards by name in J The original indexes are in J The only record of those cases where the case file has not survived would be the decree held by the court. Search Discovery, our catalogue , by name of petitioner , respondent or corespondent for divorce suits in England and Wales, both successful and unsuccessful, in J They are closed for up to 75 years. See section 3 on how to search for case files.
In divorce law was introduced in England but divorce remained too expensive for most people until the s.
Before divorce in the modern sense, that both partners were free to re-marry, was rare. People instead found other ways to separate — through custom, the church courts, the common law courts and Parliament. See the table below for details of which records are held by The National Archives and which are at local archives.
A deed of separation would be drawn up between the husband and a trustee of the wife not the wife herself and provision made for the wife and children. If you know the names of both parties, you might find a deed of separation in the Close Rolls in C You may find records of the deed and correspondence among family or estate records. Search our catalogue to see where different collections are held. Deeds of separation were used even after the Matrimonial Causes Act of , as couples were still unable to end a marriage:.
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In C 78 you may also find:. You can find some separation settlements in PC 2 indicating that the Privy Council had an interest in ensuring they were adhered to. Further appeals were to the High Court of Delegates up to , and the judicial committee of the Privy Council between and On appeal, the case would be suspended in the lower court, and transcripts of all the records transferred upwards. The table below shows where you can find records for each court. DEL 2 is the main series of cause papers, which include allegations and petitions.
The papers are arranged by case and term, and consist of bundles of papers relating to each particular case. Details can include:. The early papers are often in Latin. Most of the material is in a standard legal form, but there are sometimes personal details about the parties. The accounts of proceedings can sometimes be very long.
The case books in DEL 7 and PCAP 3 onwards contain bound volumes of printed proceedings and sometimes manuscript records of the judgement given. The church consistory courts of the bishops could grant a declaration of nullity, meaning the marriage was considered invalid from the start. The children became illegitimate and the wife lost her right to inherit from her husband.
You can find consistory courts records in local archives. The husband or wife could subsequently apply to the church court for a declaration of nullity. In the House of Lords ordered that the transcript of a preliminary trial for criminal conversation should accompany every divorce bill brought before it. You may find reports of sensational trials in newspapers from the late 18th century. In order to remarry, a full divorce by Act of Parliament was required.
Before fewer than full divorces were granted. Only four of the petitioners were women and they had to prove life-threatening cruelty by their husband.
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You can find divorce acts in the Parliamentary Archives. Forestry Statistics Alternatively, a leaflet can be ordered for free from Forest Research Publications. Data: All tables are available to download from the Forestry Statistics publication. In addition, longer time series data for some topics are available from the data downloads page on our website. Pre-release access: Information on pre-release access to this publication can be found in the pre-release access pages. The release provides a further analysis of wood production statistics that were released in Chapter 2 of Forestry Statistics Earlier publications are also available, but please note that figures are subject to revision in subsequent releases.
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