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Law Of Divorce—Question

Volume 229: debated on Monday 15 May 1876

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Question

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether it is true that a woman, should her husband commit adultery, is not allowed by the Law to marry again, a husband not being prevented marrying again should his wife commit adultery; and, whether, should such be the case, a Bill would be brought in to remedy the injustice to women?

Sir, the Question of the hon. and gallant Member seems to assume that, if a man's wife commits adultery, he can immediately marry again. That is not so. By the law as it stands a husband is enabled to obtain a divorce if his wife commits adultery, but a wife cannot obtain a divorce on that ground. She must go on further, and prove cruelty and desertion as well as adultery. I do not admit that the law as it stands works any injustice to the woman, and therefore I do not admit that a Bill on the subject is necessary.