By legislative enactment whites and blacks living in adultery are to be punished by imprisonment or fine; divorces may be secured only after two years' residence in the state and on the ground of physical incapacity, adultery, extreme cruelty, habitual indulgence in violent temper, habitual drunkenness, desertion for one year, previous marriage still existing, or such relationship of the parties as is within the degrees for which marriage is prohibited by law.
The ratio of marriages is approximately 8.46 per thousand units of the population, and the ratio of divorces is 1.36 per thousand.
There are thus about 16 divorces for every hundred marriages.
Divorces take place chiefly among the lower orders,who frequently treat marriage merely as a test of a couples suitability to be helpmates in the struggles of life.
On the other hand, divorces among persons of the upper classes are comparatively rare, and divorces on account of a wifes unfaithfulness are almost unknown.
Legislative divorces are forbidden by the constitution, and a statute of 1901 subjects wife-beaters to corporal punishment.
Divorces are granted for adultery, desertion for three years) habitual drunkenness, impotence at the time of marriage, fraud, lack of marriageable age (eighteen for males, sixteen for females), and failure of husband to provide for his wife during three consecutive years.
The law has allowed the Federal census office in its discretion to compile and publish the birth statistics of divisions in which they are accurately kept; one Federal report on the statistics of marriages and divorces throughout the country from 1867 to 1886 inclusive was published in 1889, and a second for the succeeding twenty-year period was published in part in 1908; an annual volume gives the statistics of deaths for about half the population of the country, including all the states and cities which have approximately complete records of deaths; Federal agencies like the bureau of labour and the bureau of corporations have been created for the purpose of gathering certain social and industrial statistics, and the bureau of the census has been made a permanent statistical office.
The state (or a local authority created by the state) registers his birth, appoints his guardian, provides schools for him and pays for them, allots him a share in the property of a parent dying intestate, licences him when he enters a trade (if the trade needs a licence), marries him, divorces him, entertains civi] actions against him, tries and executes him for murder.
Divorces may be obtained after residence of six months on the ground of adultery, cruelty, desertion or neglect for one year, habitual drunkenness for the same period, felony or insanity.
Divorces were not permitted before 1868 and the provisions of the constitution of that year and of an act of 1872, permitting divorce (for adultery or for wilful desertions for two years) were repealed in 1878.
In the former the king is offended with his wife, and divorces her; in the Arabian Nights he finds her unfaithful, and kills her.
It has at various times granted divorces, confirmed faulty titles, annulled decisions of the justices of the peace, and validated contracts against which judgment by default had been secured.