Always Check for a Divorce or Separation

Even if you think divorce “never happened in ‘our’ family,” check for one anyway.

It’s possible the couple divorced and no one in the family mentioned it. It is possible a divorce case was initiated and not completed. It’s possible that there was a court case for “separate maintenance” (where there’s no “divorce,” but the couple lives apart). In all three cases, the testimony and details in the court packets may be similar (particularly in terms of possibly providing a date and place of marriage). Children may or not be mentioned in these cases, particularly if they are of legal age.

And it’s possible that there was no court action of any type, but the couple maintained separate households. My great aunt and uncle did that until their deaths in the 1980s–living in houses directly across the street from each other.