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a new trustee, if for any reason it shall appear to the Court expedient so to do.
25. In every case of a judicial separation the wife shall, from date of the sentence and whilst the separation shall continue, be considered as a Feme Sole with respect to property of every description which she may acquire or which may come to or devolve upon her; and such property may be disposed of by her in all respects as a feme sole, and on her decease the same shall, in case she shall die intestate, go as the same would have gone if her husband had been then dead; provided, that if any such wife should again cohabit with her husband, all such property as she may be entitled to when such cohabitation shall take place shall be held to her separate use ; subject, however, to any agreement in writing made between herself and her husband whilst separate.
26. In every case of a judicial separation the wife shall, whilst so separated, be considered as a feme sole for the purposes of contract, and wrongs and injuries, and suing and being sued in any civil proceeding; and her husband shall not be liable in respect of any engagement or contract she may have entered into, or for any wrongful act or omission by her, or for any costs she may incur as plaintiff or defendant; provided, that where upon any such judicial separation alimony has been decreed or ordered to be paid to the wife, and the same shall not be duly paid by the husband, he shall be liable for necessaries supplied for her use; provided also, that nothing shall prevent the wife from joining, at any time during such separation, in the exercise of any joint power given to herself and her husband.
27. It shall be lawful for any husband to present a petition to the said Court, praying that his marriage may be dissolved, on the ground that his wife has since the celebration thereof been guilty of adultery; and it shall be lawful for any wife to present a petition to the said court, praying that her marriage may be dissolved, on the ground that since the celebration thereof her husband has been guilty of incestuous adultery, or of bigamy with adultery, or of rape, or of sodomy or bestiality, or of adultery coupled with such cruelty as without adultery would have entitled her to a divorce a mensa et thoro, or of adultery coupled with desertion, without reasonable excuse, for two years or upwards; and every such petition shall state as distinctly as the nature of the case permits the facts on which the claim to have such marriage dissolved is founded : Provided that for the purposes of this act incestuous adultery shall be taken to mean adultery committed by a husband with a woman with whom if his wife were dead he could not lawfully contract marriage by reason of her being within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity; and bigamy shall be taken to mean marriage of any person, being married, to any other person during the life of the former husband or wife, whether the second marriage shall have taken place within the dominions of her Majesty or elsewhere.
28. Upon any such petition presented by a husband the petitioner shall make the alleged adulterer a co-respondent to the said petition, unless on special grounds to be allowed by the
Court, he shall be excused from so doing; and on every petition presented by a wife for dissoluion of marriage, the Court, if it see fit, may direct that the person with whom the husband is alleged to have committed adultery be made a respondent; and the parties or either of them may insist on having the contested matters of fact tried by a jury as herein-after mentioned.
29. Upon any such petition for the dissolution of a marriage, it shall be the duty of the Court to satisfy itself, so far as it reasonably can, not only as to the facts alleged, but also whether or no the petitioner has been in any manner accessory to or conniving at the adultery, or has condoned the same, and shall also inquire into any counter-charge which may be made against the petitioner.
30. In case the Court, on the evidence in relation to any such petition, shall not be satisfied that the alleged adultery has been committed, or shall find that the petitioner has during the marriage been accessory to or conniving at the adultery of the other party to the marriage, or has condoned the adultery complained of, or that the petition is presented or prosecuted in collusion with either of the respondents, then and in any of the said cases the Court shall dismiss the said petition.
31. In case the Court shall be satisfied on the evidence that the case of the petitioner has been proved, and shall not find that the petitioner has been in any manner accessory to or conniving at the adultery of the other party to the marriage, or has condoned the adultery complained of, or that the petition is presented or prosecuted in collusion with either of the respondents, then the Court shall pronounce a decree declaring such marriage to be dissolved : Provided always, that the Court shall not be bound to pronounce such decree if it shall find that the petitioner has during the marriage been guilty of adultery, or if the petitioner shall, in the opinion of the Court, have been guilty of unreasonable delay in presenting or prosecuting such petition, or of cruelty towards the other party to the marriage, or of having deserted or wilfully separated himself or herself from the other party before the adultery complained of, and without reasonable excuse, or of such wilful neglect or misconduct that has conduced to the adultery.
32. The Court may, if it shall think fit, on any such decree, order that the husband shall to the satisfaction of the Court secure to the wife such gross sum of money, or such annual sum of money for any term not exceeding her own life, as, having regard to her fortune (if any), to the ability of the husband, and to the conduct of the parties, it shall deem reasonable, and for that purpose may refer it to any one of the conveyancing counsel of the Court of Chancery to settle and approve of a proper deed or instrument to be executed by all necessary parties; and the said Court may in such case, if it shall see fit, suspend the pronouncing of its decree until such deed shall have been duly executed; and upon any petition for dissolution of marriage the Court shall have the same power to make interim orders for
payment of money, by way of alimony or otherwise, to the wife, as it would have in a suit institused for judicial separation.
33. Any husband may, either in a petition for dissolution of marriage or for judicial separation, or in a petition limited to such object only, claim damages from any person on the ground of his having committed adultery with the wife of such petitioner, and such petition shall be served on the alleged adulterer and the wife, unless the Court shall dispense with such service, or direct some other service to be substituted; and the claim made by every such petition shall be heard and tried on the same principles, in the same manner, and subject to the same or the like rules and regulations as actions for criminal conversation are now tried and decided in Courts of Common Law; and all the enactments herein contained with reference to the hearing and decision of petitions to the Court shall, so far as may be necessary, be deemed applicable to the hearing and decision of petitions presented under this enactment; and the damages to be recovered on any such petition shall in all cases be ascertained by the verdict of a jury, although the respondents or either of them may not appear; and after the verdict has been given the Court shall have power to direct in what manner such damages shall be paid or applied, and to direct that the whole or any part thereof shall be settled for the benefit of the children (if any) of the marriage, or as a provision for the maintenance of the wife.
34. Whenever in any petition presented by a husband the alleged adulterer shall have been made a co-respondent, and the adultery shall have been established, it shall be lawful for the Court to order the ađulterer to pay the whole or any part of the costs of the proceedings.
35. In any suit or other proceeding for obtaining a judicial separation or a decree of nullity of marriage, and on any petition for dissolving a marriage, the Court may from time to time, before making its final decree, make such interim orders, and may make such provision in the final decree, as it may deem just and proper with respect to the custody, maintenance, and education of the children the marriage of whose parents is the subject of such suit or other proceeding, and may, if it shall think fit, direct proper proceedings to be taken for placing such children under the protection of the Court of Chancery.
36. In questions of fact arising in proceedings under this Act it shall be lawful for, but, except as herein-before provided, not obligatory upon, the Court to direct the truth thereof to bé determined before itself, or before any one or more of the judges of the said Court, by the verdict of a special or common jury.
37. The Court, or any judge thereof, may make all such rules and orders upon the Sheriff or any other person for procuring the attendance of a common or special jury for the trial of such question as may now be made by any of the superior courts of common law at Westminster, and may also make any other orders which to such Court or judge may seem requisite ; and every such jury shall consist of persons possessing the like qualifications, and shall be struck, summoned, balloted for, and called
in like manner, as if such jury were a jury for the trial of any cause in any of the said superior courts, and every juryman so summoned shall be entitled to the same rights, and subject to the same duties and liabilities, as if he had been duly summoned for the trial of any such cause in any of the said superior courts; and every party to any such proceeding shall be entitled to the same rights as to challenge and otherwise as if he were a party to such cause.
38. When any such question shall be so ordered to be tried such question shall be reduced into writing in such form as the Court shall direct, and at the trial the jury shall be sworn to try the said question, and a true verdict to give thereon according to the evidence; and upon every such trial the Court or judge shall have the same powers, jurisdiction, and authority as any judge of any of the said superior Courts sitting at Nisi Prius.
39. Upon the trial of any such question or of any issue under this Act a Bill of Exceptions may be tendered, and a general or special verdict or verdicts, subject to a special case, may be returned, in like manner as in any cause tried in any of the said superior courts ; and every such bill of exceptions, special verdict, and special case respectively shall be stated, settled and sealed in like manner as in any cause tried in any of the said superior courts, and where the trial shall not have been had in the court for divorce and matrimonial causes shall be returned into such court without any writ of error or other writ; and the matter of law in every such bill of exceptions, special verdict, and special case shall be heard and determined by the full courts, subject to such right of appeal as is herein-after given in other cases.
40. It shall be lawful for the court to direct one or more issue or issues to be tried in any court of common law, and either before a Judge of Assize in any county or at the sittings for the trial of causes in London or Middlesex, and either by a special or common jury, in like manner as is now done by the Court of Chancery.
41. Every person seeking a decree of nullity of marriage, or a decree of judicial separation, or a dissolution of marriage, or decree in a suit of jactitation of marriage, shall, together with the petition or other application for the same, file an affidavit verifying the same so far as he or she is able to do so, and stating that there is not any collusion or connivance between the deponent and the other party to the marriage.
42. Every such petition shall be served on the party to be affected thereby, either within or without her Majesty's dominions, in such manner as the court shall by any general or special order from time to time direct, and for that purpose the court shall have all the powers conferred by any statute on the Court of Chancery : Provided always, that the said court may dispense with such service altogether in case it shall seem necessary or expedient so to do
43. The court may, if it shall think fit, order the attendance of the pettiioner, and may examine him or her, or permit him or
her to be examined or cross-examined on oath on the hearing of any petition, but no such petitioner shall be bound to answer any question tending to show that he or she has been guilty of adultery.
44. The court may from time to time adjourn the hearing of any such petition, and may require further evidence thereon, if it shall see fit so to do.
45. In any case in which the court shall pronounce a sentence of divorce or judicial separation for adultery of the wife, if it shall be made appear to the court that the wife is entitled to any property either in possession or reversion, it shall be lawful for the court, if it shall think proper, to order such settlement as it shall think reasonable to be made of such property or any part thereof, for the benefit of the innocent party, and of the children of the marriage, or either or any of them.
46. Subject to such rules and regulations as may be established as herein provided, the witnesses in all proceedings before the court where their attendance can be had shall be sworn and examined orally in open court: provided that parties, except as herein-before provided, shall be at liberty to verify their respective cases in whole or in part by affidavit, but so that the deponent in every such affidavit shall, on the application of the opposite party or by direction of the court, be subject to be cross-examined by or on behalf of the opposite party orally in open court, and after such cross-examination may be re-examined orally in open court as aforesaid by or on behalf of the party by whom such affidavit was filed.
47. Provided, that where a witness is out of the jurisdiction of the court, or where, by reason of his illness or from other circumstances, the court shall not think fit to enforce the attendance of the witness in open court, it shall be lawful for the court to order a commission to issue for the examination of such witness on oath, upon interrogatories or otherwise, or if the witness be within the jurisdiction of the court to order the examination of such witness on oath, upon interrogatories or otherwise, before any officer of the said court, or other person to be named in such order for the purpose; and all the powers given to the courts of law at Westminster by the Acts of the thirteenth year of King George the Third, chapter sixty-three, and of the First year of King William the Fourth, chapter twenty-two, for enabling the courts of law at Westminster to issue commissions and give orders for the examination of witnesses in actions depending in snch courts, and to enforce such examination, and all the provisions of the said acts, and of any other acts for enforcing or otherwise applicable to such examination and the witnesses examined, shall extend and be applicable to the court and to the examination of witnesses under the commissions and orders of the said court, and to the witnesses examined, as if such court were one of the courts of law at Westminster, and the matter before it were an action pending in such court,