: Japanese Fairy Tales

REQUIREMENTS FOR MARRIAGE.--A man who has not completed his eighteenth

year and a woman who has not completed her fifteenth year cannot contract


Nevertheless, it is within the power of the sovereign to grant a

dispensation setting aside this requirement for good and sufficient


There can be no marriage in Belgium without mutual consent. It is

forbidden to contra
t a second marriage before the dissolution of the


A son or a daughter who has not reached the age of twenty-one years cannot

contract a marriage without the consent of his or her father and mother.

In case of disagreement between the father and mother on this subject the

consent of the father is sufficient.

A disagreement between a father and a mother as to giving consent to the

marriage of their child can be established by a notarial record, by a

summons served by a process server, by minutes of a hearing held on the

subject, or by a letter stating the mother's objection to the marriage

written by her to a civil officer of the State.

If the father or the mother is dead, if either of them is absent or

incapable of expressing consent, the consent of the other parent is


The incapacity of a father or a mother to express consent may be proven by

a declaration made by the future spouse whose ascendant is incapable and

by four witnesses of full age, of either sex.

If the father and the mother are dead, or both are incapable of

manifesting their wishes, the grandfathers and the grandmothers take their


PROHIBITIONS.--In direct line marriage is forbidden between all legitimate

or illegitimate ascendants and descendants and their spouses.

In the indirect or collateral line marriage is forbidden between brother

and sister, legitimate or illegitimate, and their spouses of the same


Marriage is forbidden between uncle and niece and aunt and nephew.

It is, however, possible for good reasons to obtain a dispensation from

the sovereign permitting a marriage within these prohibited degrees.

FORMALITIES.--Marriage must be celebrated publicly before a civil officer

of the State of the commune and in the commune where one of the

contracting parties has his, or her, residence.

OBJECTIONS BY THIRD PERSONS.--Of course, a husband or wife of an existing

marriage has the right to object formally to his or her spouse contracting

another marriage.

The father, and, in default of the father, the mother, and, in default of

the mother, the grandparents have the right to oppose a marriage of a

child or grandchild who has not reached the age of twenty-five years.

ANNULMENT.--A marriage which has been contracted without the free consent

of the parties, or one of them, may be annulled in the courts, but only on

the application of either of the parties when neither of them have given

free consent, or on the application of the party whose free consent was

not obtained.

When there has been an error concerning the identity of either of the

parties to the contract the marriage can only be annulled at the instance

of the party who has been misled or imposed upon.

A marriage which has been contracted without the consent of the father or

mother, the ascendants, or the family council, where such consent was a

necessary condition precedent, can only be annulled on the application of

the person or persons whose consent was wanting.

A marriage which has been declared null continues in operation,

nevertheless, all the civil effects both for the parents and the children,

when the contract was concluded in good faith.

OBLIGATIONS OF MARRIAGE.--The parties to a marriage are bound to mutual

fidelity, protection and assistance.

The husband owes protection to his wife and a wife obedience to her


A wife is obliged to live with her husband at whatever residence he may

judge to be proper. The husband is obliged to receive his wife and to

furnish her with the necessaries of life, according to his ability and

social condition.

A husband and wife contract together by the fact of marriage itself to

nourish, educate and properly care for their children.

A wife whose property is mixed with that of her husband, or who keeps her

property separate, cannot give, sell, pledge, mortgage, or acquire title

to property, with or without a valuable consideration, except on the

written consent of her husband.

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE.--A marriage is dissolved:

1. By the death of one of the parties;

2. By legal divorce;

3. Abrogation by Article 13 of the Constitution.

SECOND MARRIAGE.--A woman cannot conclude a new marriage until ten months

after the dissolution of the one precedent.

DIVORCE.--A husband is entitled to a divorce because of the adultery of

his wife.

A wife can only obtain a divorce because of her husband's adultery, when

the husband has brought his paramour or concubine into the home he has

established for himself and wife.

Either party to a marriage is entitled to a divorce because of excessive

ill-usage or grievous bodily injuries committed by one against the other.

The conviction of one of the parties for an infamous offence entitles the

other to institute an action for a divorce.

MUTUAL CONSENT.--The mutual and persistent agreement of the parties to be

divorced, expressed in the manner provided by law, and after certain

formalities and proofs showing that a continuance of the marriage relation

is unbearable, and that there exists by agreement of both parties

peremptory reasons for a divorcement, is sufficient ground for a decree of

divorce. At a meeting of the International Law Association, held at the

Guildhall, London, on August 4th, 1910, Dr. Gaston de Leval, legal adviser

to the British legation at Brussels, pleaded in favour of the Belgian

system of divorce by mutual consent. Extremely few cases, he said, of such

divorces took place, the proportion not being more than three per cent. on

the average of Belgian divorces. He argued that such a divorce was at

least as moral and difficult to obtain as any other kind of divorce, and

in most of the cases the most difficult to obtain.