Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
Legal separation of husband and wife, or the release by civil authority from any one or more of the bonds of matrimony between them. Imperfect divorce is the separation of husband and wife so that the duty of living together, and sometimes the support, is relaxed, but giving them no right to remarry. also called separation from bed and board, but not the severance of the primary bond of marriage, which is the exclusive lifelong fidelity in the use of marital rights. (Etym. Latin divortium; from divertere, to part, separate, turn aside.)