Argentine Republic

: Japanese Fairy Tales

The Civil Code of the Argentine Republic shows strong evidences of the

Spanish origin of its precepts. As in the old motherland marriage is

considered as indissoluble except by the death of one of the contracting

parties. However, the Republic does not accept the decrees of the Council

of Trent or the canonical law of the Catholic Church on the subject of

marriage as parts of the law of the land.

As a mat
er of religion the people of Argentina may consider marriage as a

sacrament or divine ordinance, or not, as it pleases their consciences,

but as a matter of law marriage in the Argentine Republic is simply a

civil contract.

ESSENTIALS OF MARRIAGE.--For the validity of marriage there must be the

consent of two contracting parties declared before the public official in

charge of the civil register. The contract can be declared by proxy, but

only with a special authorization from the principal, in which the person

with whom the proxy has to conclude the marriage is clearly described.

IMPEDIMENTS.--The existence of any of the following conditions make a

marriage unlawful:

1. Consanguinity between ascendants and descendants without limitation,

whether legitimate or illegitimate.

2. Consanguinity between brothers and sisters and half brothers and

sisters, legitimate or illegitimate.

3. Affinity in the direct line in all degrees.

4. The woman not being twelve and the man fourteen years of age.

5. The existence of a previous marriage.

6. Where one of the parties has been voluntarily the author of, or the

accomplice in the death of, the former husband or wife of the other.

7. Insanity.

8. A woman over twelve years of age and a man over fourteen, but minors,

and the deaf and dumb who cannot write cannot bind themselves in marriage

without the consent of their legitimate father, or, failing him, without

their mother's consent, or that of their guardian, or of the judicial

consent or permission, in the absence of the above. The civil judge will

decide in cases of disagreement.

9. A guardian, or his descendants under his power, cannot marry minors

under his guardianship so long as the latter lasts.

PRELIMINARIES.--Those who desire to marry must present themselves before

the public official in charge of the civil register, at the domicile of

one of the parties, and verbally declare their intention to marry. Two

witnesses are required who, from their knowledge of the contracting

parties, can declare as to their identity and that they consider them

capable of being married.

CELEBRATION.--The marriage must be celebrated before the official charged

with the civil registry in his office, publicly, the bride and bridegroom,

or their proxies, appearing in person, in the presence of two witnesses

and with the formalities prescribed by law. If either of the contracting

parties are unable to appear at the registry office the marriage may be

celebrated at his (or her) residence.

If the marriage be celebrated in the registry office two witnesses must be

present, and four witnesses if it is celebrated at the domicile of either

of the contracting parties.

In celebrating the marriage the Public Registrar must read to the

contracting parties those portions of the law which define the rights and

obligations of married couples. He must also receive from each the

declaration that they respectively desire to take each other as husband

and wife. He must also formally declare the couple to be man and wife.

There is no legal objection to a religious celebration of marriage

following the civil ceremony, which alone is treated as legally effective.

HUSBAND AND WIFE.--The contracting parties are bound to be mutually

faithful, but the infidelity of the one does not excuse the infidelity of

the other. The one who breaks this obligation can be proceeded against by

the other in the divorce courts without prejudice to what is laid down on

the subject by the Penal Code.

The husband is bound to live in the same house as his wife and to give her

all necessary assistance, protection and support.

If there be no marriage contract to the contrary, the husband is the legal

administrator of all the property belonging to the married couple,

including that of the wife, as well as that which they possessed at

marriage as of that subsequently acquired by them in their own right.

The wife is bound to live with the husband wherever he may fix his


A wife cannot, without her husband's permission, go to law, make any

contract, or acquire goods, nor alienate or pledge goods without such

permission. The wife may, of course, in certain cases, such as divorce,

acquire judicial authorization for prosecuting or defending a suit in the


DIVORCE.--The courts of the Argentine Republic grant divorces, but in

effect they only amount to a personal separation of the parties to a

marriage, without the dissolution of the bonds of matrimony.

These so-called divorces are granted for the following causes:

1. Adultery of the husband or wife.

2. Attempt by one of the parties on the life of the other, either

personally or as an accomplice.

3. The instigation of one of the parties by the other to commit adultery

or other crimes.

4. Cruelty.

5. Serious injuries. In estimating the gravity of the injury the judge

will take into consideration the education and social position of the


6. Such ill-treatment, even if not serious, as renders married life


7. Wilful and malicious desertion.

EFFECTS OF THE DIVORCE.--If the wife be of age she can exercise all the

usual acts of civil life.

Each of the parties can fix his or her domicile or residence where he or

she thinks fit, even if it be abroad. However, if the party have children

under his or her care, they cannot be taken abroad without the permission

of the court of their domicile.

The innocent party can revoke the donations or advantages which he or she

may have made or promised to the other by the marriage contract, whether

they were to have come into effect during the life of the party or after

his or her death.

Children less than five years old remain in the mother's custody. Those

over that age shall be handed over to the party who, in the opinion of the

judge, is most fitted to educate and care for them.

The husband who may have given cause for divorce must continue to support

the wife if she have not sufficient means of her own. The judge shall

decide the amount and manner in which this shall be done, with due regard

to the circumstances of both parties.

Whichever of the parties may have given cause for divorce will have the

right to require the other, if he or she be able to do so, to provide him

or her with subsistence, if such be absolutely necessary.

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE.--A legal marriage can only be dissolved by the

death of one of the contracting parties.

A marriage which can be dissolved in accordance with the laws of the

country in which it was celebrated cannot be dissolved in the Argentine

Republic except by the death of one of the parties.

The supposed decease of one of the contracting parties, either through

absence or disappearance, will not enable the other to marry again. So

long as the decease of one of the contracting parties, either through

absence or disappearance, has not been absolutely proved, the marriage is

not considered as dissolved.

ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE.--A marriage may be annulled when it was contracted

in violation of some legal impediment, or for want of proper consent.

SECOND OR FURTHER MARRIAGES.--A woman cannot marry again for ten months

after a dissolved or annulled marriage, unless she was left pregnant, in

which case she may marry after having given birth to the child.

PROOF OF MARRIAGE.--A marriage must be proved by certificate, or copy

thereof, of such marriage. If it is impossible to produce the certificate,

or its copy, all other means of proof will be allowed, but these other

proofs will not be admitted unless it is previously established that such

certificate or copy cannot be produced.