Jactitation of Marriage

Jactitation of Marriage is a suit which was formerly competent in the English ecclesiastical courts and now is competent in the English Divorce Court, to settle a question of disputed marriage. If a party boast or profess that he or she is married to another, the latter may institute the suit, and call upon the former to produce proof of-the marriage. If this is not done, then a decree passes which enjoins the party to perpetual silence on the subject. This remedy is now scarcely ever resorted to, for, in general, since lord Hardwick's Act (1766), there is sufficient certainty in the forms of legal marriage in England to prevent only one being in ignorance whether he or she is really married or not-a reproach which, however, is often made against the law of Scotland. The Scotch suit of a declarator of putting to silence, which is equivalent to jactitation of marriage, is often resorted to, the latest and most notorious instance of its use being that in the Yelverton marriage case.

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