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6. Divorce a vinculo may be granted, though one a mensa et thoro has been had.
7. On petition asking for divorce a vinculo, court may grant one a mensa et thoro. 8. How marriages denied or doubted, affirmed.
9. When issue deemed illegitimate.
11. When issue deemed legitimate.
13. Alimony for life, and provision out
SECTION 1. The circuit court for this District shall have jurisdiction of all applications for divorces, to be made by petition, upon which the same proceedings shall be had as are had in other cases, except so far as is otherwise provided in this chapter.
SEC. 2. The petition for a divorce shall specify the causes therefor with certainty, and upon the same being filed, the clerk shall issue summons for the defendant to appear and answer. If it shall appear by the affidavit of a disinterested witness, that the defendant is a non-resident of this District, or has been absent therefrom for the space of six months, the circuit court after the return of one summons not found, may authorize notice of the pendency of the petition to be given by publication, in such manner as it shall direct. The cour shall proceed to hear and determine such cause whenever such sum mons shall have been served twenty days, or such publication made forty days, before the commencement of the term. No judgment for a divorce shall be rendered on default without proof; nor shall any admissions contained in the answer of the defendant be taken as proof of the facts charged as the ground of the application, but the same shall in all cases be proved by other evidence.
SEC. 3. A divorce a vinculo matrimonii-from the bond of matrimony-may be granted for any of the following causes, to wit:
First. For any cause, which, by the laws of this District, renders a marriage null and void, ab initio ; and, also, when it is voidable, as before provided, by a person marrying above the age of twelve years and under fourteen.
Secondly. The impotence of either party at the time of the marriage. Thirdly. For the adultery of either party during the marriage.
Fourthly. When either party is sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary for the term of life or seven years or more, when no pardon granted to the party so sentenced shall, after a divorce for that cause, restore such party to his or her conjugal rights.
Fifthly. When the female, before marriage, has been guilty of illicit carnal intercourse with a man, the same being unknown to the husband at the time of the marriage.
Sixthly. The abandonment by the party complained against of the other party for the uninterrupted period of three years, when the court shall be satisfied that such abandonment is deliberate, final, and unattended by any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
SEC. 4. A divorce a mensa et thoro-or from bed and board-or, in the discretion of the court, a divorce a vinculo matrimonii, may be granted for either of the following causes, to wit:
First. Cruelty of treatment.
Secondly. Reasonable apprehension of bodily harm.
SEC. 5. No divorce shall be granted for any cause which shall have occurred out of this District, unless the party applying for the same shall have resided within the District for two years next preceding the application.
SEC. 6. When a petition asks for a divorce a vinculo matrimonii, the fact that the parties have been divorced a mensa et thoro, shall not be taken to interfere with the jurisdiction of the court over the subject.
SEC. 7. Upon a petition filed asking for a divorce a vinculo matrimonii, the court may decree a divorce a mensa et thoro, if the cause proved be sufficient to entitle the party to the same.
SEC. 8. When the validity of any marriage shall be denied or doubted by either party, the other may file a petition in manner aforesaid for affirming the marriage, and upon due proof of the validity thereof, the court shall have power to affirm and declare valid such marriage, and its judgment thereon shall be conclusive upon all persons concerned.
SEC. 9. Upon the dissolution by divorce of any marriage that is prohibited on account of consanguinity or affinity of the parties, or of any marriage between a white person and a negro, the issue of such marriage shall be deemed to be illegitimate.
SEC. 10. Upon the dissolution of a marriage on account of either of the parties having a former wife or husband living, if it shall appear that the second marriage was contracted in good faith by the unmarried party, and with the full belief on his or her part that the former wife or husband was dead, that fact shall be stated in the judgment or sentence of divorce, and the issue of such second marriage, born or begotten before the commencement of the suit, shall be deemed to be the legitimate issue of the parent who, at the time of marriage, was capable of contracting.
SEC. 11. Upon the dissolution of a marriage on account of the nonage, insanity, or idiocy of either party, the issue of the marriage shall be deemed to be the legitimate issue of the parent who, at the time of the marriage, was capable of contracting.
SEC. 12. A divorce for other causes than those herein before specially provided for, shall not affect the legitimacy of the issue of the marriage; but the legitimacy of such issue, if questioned, shall be tried and determined according to the course of the common law.
SEC. 13. In all cases where a divorce is granted, the court allowing the same shall have power to award alimony to the wife, and to award to the wife such property as she had when she was married, or such part thereof as the court may deem reasonable, or the value thereof, having a regard to the circumstances of the husband at the time of the divorce. The court may also, in granting a divorce, restore to the wife her maiden or other previous name.
SEC. 14. The court shall also have power to order and direct who shall have the guardianship and custody of the children, and be charged with their maintenance.
SEC. 15. In granting a divorce for adultery, the court may restrain by its judgment the guilty party from marrying again; in which case the bond of matrimony shall be deemed not to be dissolved as to any future marriage of such party, or in any prosecution on account thereof.
SEC. 16. The circuit court may also award alimony to the wife for her sustenance during the pendency of a petition for a divorce filed for any of the causes aforesaid.
SECTION 1. When any husband shall absent himself from the District, abandoning his wife and not making sufficient provision for her maintenance, if the wife is of the age of twenty-one years the circuit court may, on petition filed, and proceedings being had to establish such facts, authorize her to sell and convey her real estate, or any part thereof, and also any personal estate which shall at any time have come to the husband by reason of the marriage, and which may remain within the District undisposed of by him.
SEC. 2. The court may also, under like circumstances, authorize any person holding money or other personal estate to which the husband is entitled in her right, to pay and deliver the same to the wife, and may authorize her to give a discharge for the same, which discharge shall be as valid as if given by the husband.
SEC. 3. All the proceeds of such sales, and all other personal estate, which shall come to the hands of the wife by force of this chapter,
may be used and disposed of by her, during the absence of her husband, as her own property, in the same manner as if she were unmarried: provided, however, that the liability of the same, while in her hands, for the debts of her husband contracted prior to the order or judgment authorizing such sale or delivery, shall in nowise be affected.
SEC. 4. The court may further authorize such wife to make any contract, under seal or otherwise, in her own name, and also to commence, prosecute, and defend any action to final judgment and execution, in like manner as if she were unmarried.
SEC. 5. Every woman authorized as aforesaid may make and execute any deeds or other instruments in her own name, and do all other lawful acts that may be necessary and proper to carry into effect the powers so granted to her.
SEC. 6. In every such proceeding, the complaint shall be filed against the husband, and the same process, by publication or otherwise, shall be had, to procure his appearance, as is had on petitions for divorce.
SEC. 7. The powers so granted to a wife shall continue, and may be exercised, until her husband shall return into the District, and claim his marital rights.
SEC. 8. All contracts lawfully made by any wife, by virtue of such powers, shall be binding on her and her husband, in the same manner as if he were a party thereto; and she shall, during the absence of her husband from the District, be liable to be sued thereon, as if she were unmarried.
SEC. 9. She shall also be liable to be sued, in like manner, for all other acts and things done by her during the continuance of the power so granted to her.
SEC. 10. No action wherein a wife shall be a party under the provisions of this chapter shall abate by the return of the husband into the District, but he may, on his application, be admitted to prosecute or defend the action jointly with her, in like manner as if they had intermarried after the commencement of the same.
SEC. 11. If the husband shall not be admitted as a party to the action, it shall proceed to judgment and execution, as if he had not returned to the District; and any judgment recovered against the wife may be afterwards enforced against the husband, in like manner as one on a debt of his own may.