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15 m textual records
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The series consists of divorce orders issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria between 1877 and 1998. After October 1998, divorce orders were filed in the Supreme Court order books.
Records from 1877 to December 31, 1948 have been microfilmed. Records from 1949 onward are original paper records. The records consist of decrees nisi and absolute.
Volumes in containers 830561-0001 to 830561-0020 contain indexes.
Until 1968, divorces in BC were granted under the English Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 (amended 1858). Selected sections of the Act were incorporated into BC’s Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act in 1897 (RSBC 1897, c. 62) and remained largely unchanged until 1968 when the Federal government passed the first national divorce act. This act superseded existing provincial legislation, and a Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings was also created at this time.
In 1972, BC’s Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act was repealed and replaced with the Family Relations Act, which included provisions for issues related to custody. In 1985, the federal Divorce Act was passed, and came into effect in 1986. Under the 1985 Act, the use of decrees nisi was discontinued. Decrees nisi, which had been used inconsistently prior to the 1930s, required a waiting period before a decree absolute – the finalization of the dissolution of the marriage – could be issued. Between 1968 and 1985, decrees nisi required a three-month waiting period. After this time, a decree absolute could be applied for. During this time, a divorce was not legally in effect without a decree absolute.
Under the 1985 Divorce Act, a single court order of dissolution was issued, under which the divorce automatically comes into effect 31 days after the divorce has been granted.
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Finding aid : volume and folio list
For Victoria divorce cause books and case record cards, please see GR-3738.
For indexes to Victoria divorce cause books and case record cards, please see GR-3739.