Under the U.S. Constitution, a wife had no legal rights. A wife’s rights did not come from government. Her covering is her husband. Government had no right to interfere with a man’s family except for (1) extreme cruelty* that endangered the life of a wife or child, or (2) children would be educated at public expense if parents failed to educate their children to his station in life.
But if you got a marriage license, daddy government is your covering. Ask your daddy for whatever legal rights they want to grant to you.
Under the U.S. Constitution a marriage is for life. It cannot be divorced. That’s right. There is no such thing as a living ex-wife or ex-husband.
The U.S. Supreme Court determined in Maynard v. Hill 125 U.S. 205, at pages 211 to 215 that marriage is to be upheld because “marriage is a relation for life.” (this refers to real marriage, not the divorceable type of marriage that needs a license).
But you waived your right to marry by getting a marriage license.
If you had managed to keep your rights the answer to your question is found in American law dictionaries :
If you want to read about the sad story of how America has been castrated by lawyers, read my book The History of Unlicensed Marriage.
Wife’s rights was her Covering
In the Bible divorce only refers to living separately. Also notice that nowhere in the Bible does the word divorce cancel a marriage.
- The Latin word Capitis is a head covering. Diminutio is a taking away, loss
- A Christian man is the covering for his family. See First Corinthians 11.
- A right cannot be licensed. A marriage license application is a confession that you have no right to marry.
- One you confess that you have no right to your family, a civil Roman government is your covering.
Notice in all cases that a man’s family rights are lost. Only in the more severe cases are other legal rights forfeited.
Originally answered by Steven Miller, March 27, 2019.
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, first edition:
Also related to the topic of cruelty: The husband’s Covering was a wife’s complete protection. Men created a government to help them protect their families. A man is responsible for the crimes committed by his wife. A wife cannot be arrested. A man is to be arrested for the crimes of his wife, so that the wife can stay home and care for the children. Therefore a man has a duty to correct his wife with whatever force is necessary. (By the way, men also have a duty to correct the government he created.)
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My book on family rights.