1The Divorce Act, 1869

( ACT NO. IV OF 1869 )

2♣An Act to amend the law relating to Divorce and Matrimonial Causes.
WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the law relating to the divorce of persons professing the Christian religion, and to confer upon certain Courts jurisdiction in matters matrimonial; It is hereby enacted follows:-



1. Short Title Commencement of Act

2. Extent of Act

Extent of power to grant relief generally and to make decrees of dissolution, or of nullity

3. Interpretation-clause

4. Matrimonial jurisdiction of High Court Division to be exercised subject to Act Exception

5. [Omitted]

6. [Omitted]

7. Court to act on principles of English Divorce Court

8. Extraordinary jurisdiction of High Court Division

Power to transfer suits

9. Reference to High Court Division

10. When husband may petition for dissolution

When wife may petition for dissolution

Contents of petition

11. Adulterer to be co-respondent

12. Court to be satisfied of absence of collusion

13. Dismissal of petition

14. Power to Court to pronounce decree for dissolving marriage


15. Relief in case of opposition on certain grounds

16. Decrees for dissolution to be nisi


17. Confirmation of decree for dissolution by District Judge

17A. Appointment of officer to exercise duties of King’s Proctor

18. Petition for decree of nullity

19. Grounds of decree

20. Confirmation of District Judge’s decree

21. Children of annulled marriage

22. Bar to decree for divorce a mensa et toro; but judicial separation obtainable by husband or wife

23. Application for separation made by petition

24. Separated wife deemed spinster with respect to after acquired property

25. Separated wife deemed spinster for purposes of contract and suing


26. Decree of separation obtained during absence of husband or wife may be reversed

27. Deserted wife may apply to Court for protection

28. Court may grant protection-order

29. Discharge or variation of orders

30. Liability of husband seizing wife’s property after notice of order

31. Wife’s legal position during continuance of order

32. Petition for restitution of conjugal rights

33. Answer to petition

34. Husband may claim damages from adulterer

35. Power to order adulterer to pay costs Power to order litigious intervenor to pay costs

36. Alimony pendente lite

37. Power to order permanent alimony Power to order monthly or weekly payments

38. Court may direct payment of alimony to wife or to her trustee

39. Power to order settlements of wife’s property for benefit of husband and children

Settlement of damages

40. Inquiry into existence of ante-nuptial or post-nuptial settlement

41. Power to make orders as to custody of children in suit for separation

42. Power to make such orders after decree

43. Power to make orders as to custody of children in suits for dissolution or nullity

44. Power to make such orders after decree or confirmation

45. Code of Civil Procedure to apply

46. Forms of petitions and statements

47. Stamp on petition Petition to state absence of collusion

Statements to be verified

48. Suits on behalf of lunatics

49. Suits by minors

50. Service of petition

51. Mode of taking evidence

52. Competence of husband and wife to give evidence as to cruelty or desertion

53. Power to close doors

54. Power to adjourn

55. Enforcement of and appeals from orders and decrees No appeal as to costs

56. Appeal to Appellate Division of the Supreme Court

57. Liberty to parties to marry again

58. English clergyman not compelled to solemnize marriages of persons divorced for adultery

59. English minister refusing to perform ceremony to permit use of his church

60. Decree for separation or protection-order valid as to persons dealing with wife before reversal

Indemnity of persons making payment to wife without notice of reversal of decree or protection order

61. Bar of suit for criminal conversation

62. Power to make rules