: Japanese Fairy Tales

MARRIAGE.--A male must be eighteen years or more and a female sixteen

years or more in order to be lawfully married.

Marriage is forbidden between all descendants and ascendants, legitimate

or otherwise, and in the collateral line marriages are forbidden between

brothers and sisters of the whole or half blood, legitimate or


Marriage is also forbidden in Holland between brothers
in-law and

sisters-in-law, between uncle and niece, or granduncle and grandniece, and

between aunt and nephew, grandaunt and grandnephew, legitimate or


The Queen has power under the law to grant a dispensation for good reasons

relieving any couple from the effect of such prohibitions. She has also

power, for sufficient cause, to permit persons under age to contract


As a preliminary to marriage children must ask the consent thereto of

their parents, but the consent of the father is sufficient. If the father

is dead the consent of the mother suffices.

If the mother and father are both dead the grandparents take their places.

Marriage is treated in Holland as a civil contract.

CELEBRATION.--The ceremony of marriage must take place publicly in the

town hall before a registrar, but not until three days after the

publication of banns. Four male witnesses of full age must be present. If

one of the parties is unable to attend the town hall the marriage may be

solemnized in a private house, but in such a case six male witnesses of

full age are necessary. A religious celebration of the marriage cannot be

performed until the officiating clergyman is shown proof that the civil

marriage has already taken place.

FOREIGN MARRIAGE.--A marriage concluded in a foreign country between two

Hollanders, or between a Hollander and a foreigner, is recognized as valid

in Holland if celebrated according to the requirements of the foreign

country, and provided the banns were duly published, without opposition,

in the place or places of residence in Holland of the contracting parties,

and provided such marriage is not in contravention of the law of Holland.

ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE.--A marriage may be judiciously annulled on the

following grounds:

1. Previous existing marriage of one of the parties.

2. Want of free consent on the part of one or both of the parties.

3. Mistake as to identity of person.

4. Insanity or deficient mentality of one or both parties.

5. Lack of marriageable age.

6. Relationship within prohibited degrees.

7. Marriage with an accomplice in adultery.

8. Absence of requisite number of witnesses.

9. Marriage in spite of an objection raised on publication of the banns,

in case the objection proves to be well founded.

10. Marriage in violation of any other legal requirement.

DIVORCE.--In Holland a marriage can be dissolved in one of four different


1. By death of one of the parties.

2. By the absence of one of the spouses for the period of ten years or

more, coupled with the remarriage of the other spouse.

3. By a divorce pronounced after a judicial separation has been obtained

by one of the spouses.

4. By a divorce pronounced in the first instance for one of the causes

hereinafter stated.

The causes for an absolute divorce are:

1. Adultery.

2. Malicious abandonment continued for five years.

3. Judicial condemnation of one of the spouses to prison for an infamous


4. Grave bodily harm inflicted by one spouse upon the other.

PROCEDURE.--The action for divorce must be instituted before the judge of

the district where the husband is domiciled, except when the cause alleged

is malicious abandonment, in which case the suit must be brought before

the judge of the district in which both parties had their last common


Before filing the formal petition the complainant must personally attend

before the district judge and state the facts, after which it is the duty

of the judge to attempt a reconciliation of the parties. The complainant

must appear without counsel or relatives. The judge next orders both

parties to appear before him without counsel or relatives in the further

endeavour to effect a reconciliation.

If a reconciliation appears to be impossible the formal petition for

divorce is then filed with the court.

All suits for divorce are heard in camera, and the public prosecutor

must attend.

EFFECTS OF DIVORCE.--In so far as the innocent party is not able to

support himself or herself out of his or her income the guilty party is

bound, if able, to provide support.

Except when it appears to the court that justice otherwise requires, the

custody of the children is given to the successful suitor.

The innocent party retains all gifts made to him or her by the other and

the guilty party loses them all.

Both parties are free to contract a new marriage.

JUDICIAL SEPARATION.--A separation from bed and board may be granted on

the same grounds as entitle a party to an absolute divorce. Such a

separation may also be judicially granted by consent of both spouses.

After a judicial separation has existed for five years either of the

parties may petition the court to enlarge the decree of separation into a

decree of absolute divorce.