MyHeritage adds England and Wales Divorces 1858 – 1937

This is an index of 253,123 records that typically include the name of the husband, the name of the wife, the name of the correspondent, and the year of the divorce.

The Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 established the principle of “no-fault” divorce in England and Wales, allowing couples to obtain a divorce on the grounds of “irretrievable breakdown.” Prior to this act, couples could only obtain a divorce through private acts of Parliament or by proving adultery, cruelty, or desertion.

Between 1858 and 1937, the divorce rate in England and Wales steadily increased. 

After the Divorce Court (Procedure) Act of 1937 established the Divorce Court and set out the procedures for obtaining a divorce the number jumped dramatically.

Ancestry has these records to 1918 with images of the original court proceedings. Findmypast has an index collection to 1903.

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