DIVORCE, the disruption, by the act of law, of the conjugal tie made by a competent court on due cause shown. In the United States, jurisdiction in divorce cases is usually conferred on the law courts by the statutes in the different States. The causes of divorce enumerated in these various statutes are by no means uniform, and are more numerous in many of the western States than in the eastern. In all the States adultery is recognized as just ground for divorce. Conviction of felony is sufficient ground in all the States but Connecti cut, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina and the District of Co lumbia. Cruelty is a sufficient ground in all States but Alabama, Arkansas, District of Co lumbia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Habitual drunkenness is ac cepted ground for divorce in all States but Ala bama, District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Penn sylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Vir ginia and West Virginia. Desertion for one year is sufficient ground in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Ne vada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Porto Rico, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wis consin, Wyoming; desertion for two years in Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee; desertion for three years in Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and West Vir ginia; desertion for five years in Rhode Island. The drug habit is sufficient cause in Alabama, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi and Rhode Island. Insanity is sufficient cause in the District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Missis sippi, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. Neglect to provide is sufficient cause in California, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Mex ico, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Tennessee. In New York adultery
is the only ground recognized by law for grant ing an absolute divorce. In South Carolina the courts have no power to grant divorce, strictly speaking, the legislature being the only author ity for that purpose. In both of these States, as in others, the courts may declare an alleged marriage invalid on grounds which rendered the parties or either of them incapable of law fully contracting it, such as idiocy, lunacy, for mer husband or wife living, etc. Separation from bed and board, commonly called limited divorce, is granted on the ground of cruel and inhuman treatment or incompatibility; and de sertion and refusal to support by the husband may be a ground for a decree setting the wife free from the interference and control of her husband, though it may not sunder the mar riage tie.
A person applying for a divorce will not be allowed to obtain judgment should it appear that he or she has also been guilty of the of fense complained of, or that there is collusion between the persons concerned in order to pro cure a divorce. Moreover, the plaintiff is al ways required to prove the existence of the alleged grounds of divorce by satisfactory evi dence, even though no contest is made on the other side. Parties also who have condoned the offense, that is, who, after it has been dis covered, have consented again to live as hus band and wife, are not allowed to obtain a di vorce, but a second act of the same nature re vives the right of action on the original offense.
The absence of harmony in the legislation of the different States on this subject has led to very great confusion and conflict in regard to the rights and liabilities growing out of divorce against non-residents of the State where granted, and some uniform system of laws on the subject is greatly needed. As the jurisdic tion of Congress over the subject is doubtful, uniformity can apparently be secured only by an amendment to the Constitution of the United States or by the concurrent action of the va rious State legislatures.