Copyright Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. 1992



In the case of divorce for any other reason the resulting remarriage is sin.

The term fornication is discussed at times but usually is related to adultery. Some miscellaneous information on some possibilities that have been presented. beastiality: the result was to be death, Lev. 20:16; Ex 22:19; Homosexuality: Death, Lev. 20:13; These were sins of the people that God destroyed at the hand of Israel as they entered the land, Lev 18:22-24

There is a study of the term "fornication" at the end of this paper. Basically the term is any sexual activity that is incorrect. In these cases it refers to adultery.

Some would suggest that the death for adultery was not being practiced in this time. The method of death was stoning. Stoning was yet present in Stephen's and Paul's time. John R.W. Stott in "DIVORCE" mentions that stoning continued until 40 AD.

Matt 14:3-14; Mark 6:14ff (Herod)

John The Baptist had told Herod that it was unlawful for him to have his brothers wife. Why? It would seem that his brother was still alive and he along with his wife were breaking the law. What law? The law of God that states that the man and woman are one flesh until death. Unger in his Bible Dictionary mentions that the Herod and Herodias eloped while both were still married.

John The Baptist was confident enough in His God to accuse even the king, of adultery, yet when a pastor suggests church discipline for the same thing in this generation, he is held up to ridicule.

Matt 19:3-12 We have here some questions and answers in this text. Question: v 3 "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" Christ answers, Haven't you read: Christ refers to the Gen. 2 text.

Question: v 7 Why then did Moses "command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?" THIS IS A MISREPRESENTATION OF MOSES! Christ corrects the comment, and tells them that it was because of the hardness of their hearts that Moses PERMITTED, not commanded it. BUT, This was not so from the beginning. Would Christ return to the beginning if He thought there were any basis for divorce or putting away? Not logical.

The term hardness of heart is used normally of unsaved and non believing. (Pharaoh; Mk. 16:14; 3:5; Rom. 2:5.) This may indicate that divorce is allowed in the unsaved world due to their unbelief and hardness, though I'm not sure you can even build that case.

Christ then goes to the thought of adultery for those involved in a second marriage after a divorce. No man in the text would include a husband. No man should cause separation!

The reaction of the disciples was of interest. They decided it would be better not to get married. (Matt 19:10, "His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry." The discussion that follows makes it clear that they were talking about not getting married. Their reaction can only give evidence that they felt marriage was for life and that there was no way out.

Matthew 19:18 "He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,"

The Lord repeated all of the commandments except the sabbath, thus telling us they are still valid for today. Clear and concise - no adultery.

So, how can a believer be involved in divorce/remarriage? If they are they are openly before all that know, breaking one of God's commandments in an ongoing manner.

Q. How involved can someone in this position be in the local church? A good question! Today we have men pastoring in this situation. Would we have an active murderer teaching our youth group? Would we have an active thief teaching our beginners class? Probably not, so why do we have divorced/remarried people involved in these ministries?

I once spoke to a man that had recently divorced his first wife. They had both remarried and all four were singing in the church choir - an evangelical church - there was constant division because he felt that she and her husband shouldn't be involved in the choir. WHAT A TESTIMONY FOR CHRIST!

Mark 10:2-12 This is similar to Matt 19, except for one very curious exception. The exception clause of fornication is not mentioned. Now if the book of Mark was written for the edification of Gentiles it would seem that the exception clause would be explained for them, rather than not mentioned, if indeed there is an exception. Is Mark just applying the thought that death is the result of fornication and there are no exceptions? It would seem entirely possible. Christ is asked by the disciples again in private and Christ states clearly there is adultery in the case of ANY divorce - remarriage situation.

Some would submit that the reader would assume the exception clause due to their knowledge of the Matthew text. This is foolishness for the reader of Mark probably did not have the Matthew text to read. Mark was writing to specific people. Indeed, since this is true, the exception clause should have been present, if there was any case for remarriage without adultery being involved!

Some suggest that his leaving it out was to emphasize the concept of no divorce that the Scriptures set forth as the best. The fact that Matthew mentions the exception is because the Lord wanted to be in keeping with the letter of Deut. 24. Mark just eliminated it to emphasize the importance of lasting marriages. This to me seems to leave Mark in the position of being somewhat dishonest with his readers.

Some thoughts: Mark is probably the first Gospel written. He was presenting the message to a gentile audience that probably would never see Matthew. If he left out the exception, then he was dishonest and misled the readers. On the other hand, if he viewed Christ's "exception" as this paper indicates, as not really an exception but death to the adulterer, then we have Mark setting forth a proper and complete picture of what Christ said.

This text is even clearer that the divorce/remarriage is a sin based on the breaking of the original marriage. "committeth adultery against her", is clearly stating that his new marriage is against the original spouse - it is adultery against her. Can we ever delegate this to a one time act? I don't know how.

The divorce is not the adultery, nor is the remarriage. It is the divorce/remarriage that leaves a person in an adulterous relationship.

Can one that is divorced/remarried before salvation receive forgiveness for their sin when they accept Christ? YES! Does the wrong situation change because of salvation? NO. Does the first marriage suddenly disappear or become null and void? NO. Does the adulterous situation disappear or become null and void? NO.

The use of tenses in this text backs up the thinking presented here that the adultery is continuing. The verb for putting away is aorist (one time action), the verb marries is aorist (one time action), and the verb commits adultery is present (continuing action).

Verse 12 continues on, "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." Again the married is aorist while the committeth adultery is present - continuing.

This use of the present tense would indicate that the Lord and the three Gospel writers considered the adultery as an ongoing state of affair rather than a one time act. If this is an ongoing condition then the person that is divorced/remarried is living in open ongoing sin with no thought of ceasing from their activity.

Corinthians tells us that open, ongoing, unrepentant sin is cause for the removal of the person from the assembly. Someone asked me once what I would suggest for the divorced/remarried person. He asked if I would recommend divorce. When I said that this would put them closer to the thought of marriage (one for life) and that it would remove them from sin, he stated that he thought if was foolish of me to suggest divorce because it was sin. The man did not think that in God's eyes there is no second marriage, so there is nothing wrong with going through a secular, legal "divorce."

I would suggest a question in answer to this thought of suggesting a second divorce. What would we ask a Mormon with four wives to do if we led him to the Lord? Would we welcome all four wives and the husband into the membership of the church? No, we would teach them the Bible and pray that the Holy Spirit would lead them to do the right thing. Missionaries have faced similar problems on the field over the years and find that the men with multiple wives normally separate from all wives but the first and support all wives and children involved.

Luke 16:18 "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery."

Notice that Luke also fails to mention the "exception." He was not writing to Jews either, so would present the complete picture of no divorce. Matthew on the other hand was writing to Jews. He would naturally comment to them from the Jewish background which included the thought of death to the adulterer. Since their question was based on Moses, Christ had to respond to the Old Testament information.

Luke 18:20 "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother." It doesn't sound like the Lord appreciated adultery.

John 8:3 "And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act."

I would like to look at this text for a moment. It might be used as a proof text to show that the Old Testament death penalty was being set aside. Not so. Christ told them, that were without sin, to cast the first stone. None of the men were without the same sin, so none cast a stone. Since Christ was not a witness to the act, nor was he in the position of judge, he would not be involved in carrying out the command to stone. The scribes and Pharisees did not deal with the woman as they should have under their legal system. They should not have taken her to Christ.

Romans 2:22 "Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?"

This passage encourages the one that condemns adultery to be sure that he does not fall into the sin which he condemns. This is a strong admonishment to the pastors and leaders of our churches. Some leaders are now doing what they have always condemned.

Romans 13:9 "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Again, definitely in the church age, we have a clear statement of "Thou shalt not commit adultery...." We Cannot have church leadership, nor even teachers that are committed to the open breaking of God's clear commandments.

1 Corinthians 7:10, 11 mentions a woman leaving her husband. Some state this allows her to divorce him. Not so. Divorce is not mentioned - only leaving. She is told to remain unmarried.

Galatians 5:19 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,"

Adultery is mentioned as a work of the flesh. This passage is contrasting the works of the flesh with the works of the Spirit. It might well be pictured as the works of the lost contrasted with the life of the saved. The least we can draw from this text is that the believer should not be involved in the works of the flesh. If they are in an open manner, how can we allow them to minister in the church? We should not. Verse twenty mentions, strife and heresies. These are causes for church discipline and removal from the assembly, so why would we want someone living in open adultery actively ministering in our churches?

One might wonder why the church has left its strong stand of removal of divorced/remarried people from the assembly. The thought that the father that is in adultery, brings danger to his son in the same area, may well relate to why the Church today has the same divorce rate that the lost world has. Because a few divorces were tolerated they became more acceptable, etc. Some miscellaneous references containing "adultery": James 2:11; 2 Peter 2:14; Revelation 2:22.

Question: When is adultery, adultery? Each intimacy with one not your spouse is adultery. The life style would also be a life, or living in adultery. The key is that the adultery is an ongoing thing as long as there are intimate contacts.

This is illustrated for us in the spiritual adultery of Israel. They could have ceased their adultery at any point by leaving their "other gods" and returning to God. This by the way is also an illustration of the proper remedy for divorce/remarriage adultery in our own day in the physical realm. Leave the one that it not your spouse and return to your original spouse.

Question: Is there any sin whereby it is sin for the lost and not for the saved? Only one that I can think of and that being the rejection of Christ's finished work. All other sin is universally wrong, incorrect, and unacceptable to God.

Thus if adultery is deemed sin in any manner wouldn't it seem that it is sin in all manner? If it is sin for the unsaved, then being saved does not change it to non sin.

One closing thought concerning divorce/remarriage. Spiritual adultery is leaving God for other gods. The remedy is leaving the other gods and returning to God. In marriage adultery is leaving your spouse and going to other women. The only remedy is to leave the other women and returning to your spouse.

Conclusions to the study:

1. The most you can say from Scripture is:

a. Divorce for sexual problems was tolerated for Jews because of the hardness of hearts in the time of Moses.

b. Divorce is not commanded in any circumstance. This leaves the thought of working it out as the option.

c. The Jews are the only people involved in this idea of divorce, even if you hold to the possibility of the adultery clause in the Gospels.

d. If you reject the Matthew text being to the Jews then you must do two things.

1.) Accept that divorce in the case of adultery is allowed - NOT COMMANDED NOR ENCOURAGED!

2.) You must prove that the stoning for adultery was set aside before the time of Christ.

e. You may from I Corinthians 7, envision a separation but not remarriage.

f. Remarriage seems to be out even if you hold to an exception clause due to the defilement problem of the Old Testament. If you marry a divorcee then the defilement is transmitted to you as well.

g. The church, and parents are to blame for our divorce problems today among Christians! We have not been teaching proper ideas of marriage, and when trouble comes we are not teaching a Biblical concept of divorce and adultery that follows.

2. Notes of interest:

a. Lev. 21:7; 22:13 show that associating with divorcees does not defile you. However, beware of their possible negative influence on your own spiritual life and marriage.

b. A priests daughter can be divorced without bringing change to the priests status of holiness or position.

We need to apply this to the parents of today. A pastor or layman that has a divorced daughter need not have his status in the church changed. The divorce was an adult decision by the daughter and does not affect the father.

c. Jer. 3:1-8: God put up with generations of adultery with Israel. This is not permission to people to remarry, but is an illustration of God's longsuffering. Indeed, it shows that the spouse of a longtime adulterous partner can have the grace to look toward a reconciliation.

d. If God puts a couple together how can man do anything to tear it apart? The thought is foolishness. God put it together and there is nothing short of death that can change that fact.

3. The present tense indicates the adultery is of a continuing nature and not a one time act at the time of the remarriage. Matt 19:9; Mark 10:11; Luke 16:18.

Some say these usages are a special use of the present tense which means that it was a one time adultery. I have asked several Greek scholars if there was a grammatical basis for saying this, and they said there is not.

4. The idea of the adulterous woman in John 8 is of interest. She was continuing in sin and was told to go and sin no more. She was forgiven of the past sin, but told to stop.

5. If the adultery of the divorcee is viewed as a one time sin, then all succeeding sexual relations are of no consequence. This seems to be illogical. The person that is married and has activity outside of his marriage is considered to be in adultery at each occurance. Adultery is an intimate relation of a married person with a person not their spouse!

6. Some suggest that if a person was divorced and remarried before they were saved that they are not held accountable for what they did before they were saved. Let's think about that for a moment. If you murdered before you were saved are you not still a murderer after you are saved. Are you not liable for all consequences of the murder before you were saved? Salvation does not change our marital status nor does it negate the consequences of past sins.

7. Some ask what the person is to do. They suggest that a second divorce is wrong. The second divorce would be correcting the sin of the remarriage and is the only logical answer to the situation.

Indeed, is the second divorce a wrong. There is no second marriage in God's eyes, so the second divorce would be a legal tool to return to the situation that God wants them in. One that is divorced and remarried before salvation has this option open to them and should consider it. Yes, it would be very difficult! Yes, there would be hardship. But the Scriptures mention the consequences and hard ship that follows our sins!

The business man that is saved Cannot just break contracts on bad deals because he becomes a Christian. The alcoholic that is saved is forgiven, but he has a life long problem facing alcoholism!

8. The problem we have today is twofold.

a. We have divorcees and people that have remarried in our churches! We must deal with these people as believers that need to be ministered to. We must attempt to minister to their needs. We do not have to condone their past actions, nor do we set aside the clear teaching of Scripture just to use them in the church. Timothy's clear command from Paul was that the elders were to be one woman type men, and that does not allow for divorcees and remarrieds.

b. The second problem is that we still aren't teaching our children and church people what proper marriage is, nor are we speaking out against divorce and remarriage.

We must minister the Word and allow people to be confronted with it even if they don't like it. God has spoken - that is what they will have to dislike!

9. How do we handle the already divorced and remarried?

a. Do not allow them to condemn themselves. God still loves them! Teach them the proper principles of marriage/divorce and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them to the correct conclusion.

b. Help them to understand that any restriction on their usability is not the leadership's fault but that it is the leaders responsibility from the Word.

c. Remember Abraham, David, Solomon and others. bigamy is in the end, adultery and they were used greatly by God, however they did not have the indwelling Spirit of God as we do. Their short comings are more understandable. We will be held to a higher accountability due to our further revelation and the Holy Spirit's ministry to us.

10. It is a very hard subject for our day. There are multitudes of situations that are seen by some to be "special" or "different," but the fact remains that the Scriptures have made some very specific demands of the believer. It is our responsibility to look at the Scriptures and then in light of them, view every situation.

11. Divorce is not the best course, nor is it desired, but may be the legal protection a spouse needs to protect themselves from high bills and problems. The divorce in this case is only a legal tool and cannot be viewed as changing the marriage bonds in any way. God has set the standard, not man.

The most liberal view that has any basis in scripture would be that divorce and remarriage is okay in view of adultery. Even if you ignored the above pages of proof against that position and believed it was okay, then you are still faced with the key thought of God waiting generations for his people to return from their adultery (That by the way is idolatry or leaving God for other gods.) and always desiring to have them come back to Him.

12. I Cor. 6:9-10 is a verse to consider.

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

"Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Just how does this relate to our problem? A reading of vv 9-11 will show that Paul is listing types of unsaved people. He uses this to contrast the proper living of the believer, or at least the hoped for living of the believer.

13. Perhaps some questions and answers would help to put some of this information into perspective.

Question: What is adultery? Adultery is a married person having relations with other than their spouse. In our society a single person having relations with a married person would also be considered in adultery, I would suspect, however the single person, Biblically, would probably be guilty of fornication.

Question: When is adultery adultery? Every time the sexual relations occur.

Question: Is adultery pre-salvation forgiven after the person is saved? Yes.

Question: Is adultery post-salvation forgiven because of the pre-salvation forgiveness? No. This sin can, and will be forgiven any time the person uses I John 1:9. Any blanket forgiveness post-salvation is not a Scriptural concept.

Question: How can adultery be considered as a one time act in the remarriage situation, but not continuing in the case of a man cheating on His wife? It cannot. Both MUST be the same. Both are ongoing.

Question: Can a continuing sin which stems from a pre-salvation remarriage be forgiven once for all because of the cross? No.

Question: Does not everything belong under the blood? This question is of recent consideration. I have not seen, read or heard it until recent years.

All sins - pre and post salvation - are or can be forgiven, however on a different basis. Pre-salvation sin is automatic in the acceptance/redemption process. Post-salvation sin is cared for only as the person seeks forgiveness, and attempts to rectify their improper action. If post-salvation sin were automatically cared for then license would be the result in our lives.

Question: Is there any indication that adultery is not sin each time sexual relations occur? No. Adultery of the mind is a one time act (aorist tense), yet it can be repeated and would be adultery each time as would actual relations.

Question: Is there a difference between continuing in the same sin week after week and being a person that has a different sin each week? Are not both people the same - in sin?

In God's eyes, yes, sin is sin, however there is a difference and I believe that God views the two people differently. The one that continues in the same sin is not changing as the idea of repentance and confession imply. The person that is in different types of sin is a person that deals with this weeks sin and puts it behind them. When they find themselves in another sin they need to deal with it. This person is progressing in their spiritual life, whereas the other person is continuing in their sin with no attempt to correct their lives.

Question: If I am in a divorce/remarried situation, what are my alternatives?

1. Abstinence: This should be on the basis of mutual consent according to I Corinthians 7:5, however this will be a very hard alternative. This may sound terrible, and it would be a serious strain on the relationship, however many couples have continued through their life in marriages where one partner was unable to have sexual relations due to physical limitations.

2. If the remarriage has not yet occurred, then wait until the first spouse is dead. Many people that have found themselves divorced by their spouse have remained single until the spouse died.

3. Separation or divorce. This would be the step which corrected the problem. Again, a very hard alternative.

4. If you find yourself divorced, then do not allow yourself to enter into friendships that might lead to a desire to get married.

5. Continue in your present situation. This is not a recommendation, but is a very real solution of many believers around the world. It can be observed that God continues to use the divorced/remarried person. The question is, just how much more the Lord could use them if they were not in this situation.

One item of information that has not been discussed in this paper and that I have never heard brought into the divorce/remarriage discussion is the item of vows. The wedding vows are promises that the people make to one another before man and God. A brief word study in the Old Testament concerning vows and God's view of them would be good for anyone considering divorce.

This paper is not designed to give all the answers to all the questions that might arise in the readers mind. It is, I trust an honest look at the Scripture as it relates to the topic.

To reject the conclusions of this paper cannot be a simple mental rejection of the conclusions. To reject you must find different conclusions based on the texts given. You must not fall into the temptation to spiritualize or allegorize. We believe in literal, plain, easy interpretation of Scripture and must practice it in ALL studies we do in the Word.

You must deal with the present tense verbs that the Gospel writers use. You must deal with the Malachi passage that tells us that God hates divorce and treachery. You must deal with the teaching of the Lord concerning the subject.



The Greek word "moichos" is the noun form of the word. It means according to Vine, "...denotes one who has unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another...." "moichalis" is the term for the woman, "an adulteress" according to Vine. ("moicheia" is the adjective form, "moichao" and "moicheuo" are the verb forms.) See complete word study in divorce/remarriage file.


We need to consider for a moment the thought of fornication in the Gospels. Most, I have read and heard consider this to be adultery within the marriage. The Greek words are as follows: Noun forms, "porneia" and "pornos", Verb forms, "porneuo" and "ekporneuo."

Vine on the word:

"pornia": "...of illicit sexual intercourse...." It is also used metaphorically of idolatry. Vine mentions that it includes adultery but can be distinguished from adultery. (Matt 15:19)

"pornos": "...denotes a man who indulges in fornication, a fornicator...."

"poneuo": " commit fornication...."

"ekporneuo": "...a strengthened form of No. give oneself up to fornication, implying excessive indulgence...."

So fornication can be adultery, but may be other things as well.

Matt 15:19 states, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemeies:" The text goes on to state "These are the things which defile a man...." Not an activity that a believer ought to be involved in once, much less on an ongoing basis.

Adultery in the Matthew text is the Greek word "moicheia."

Fornication in the Matthew text is the Greek word "porneia."

References that contain the term with some comments: 2 Chronicles 21:11; Isaiah 23:17; Ezekiel 16:29; Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9; John 8:41; Acts 15:20; Acts 15:29; Acts 21:25; Romans 1:29; Rom. 7:2-3 This is an illustration of the persons relation to the law. Under the law, it has dominion over you for life. Thus in marriage the vow has dominion over you all your life. Paul's clear statement is that the person that remarries while the spouse lives is an adulterer! His other clear statement is that death breaks that bond and that the person is free to remarry. In essence, because Christ died and fulfilled the law we are free to take Christ since the old bonds and dominion of the law are broken; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 7:2; I Cor. 7:10ff This is a series of orders. vs 10 the wife shouldn't leave husband/vs 11 the wife if leaves remains unmarried or reconciles/the husband is not to send her away/vs 15 if there is an unbelieving mate that leaves then let them go but live in peace. They are free from the need to keep the marriage together. Ezra 10 may relate to this. vs 39 the wife is bound to the husband as long as he is alive/free to marry when he dies --"IN THE LORD"! HOWEVER, Paul mentions she may be happier alone and not remarried. It is of interest that this may have been written before Matt. If this is true then was Paul not very remiss in not mentioning the exception clause if indeed it exists? The term bondage is never used in relation to divorce in the New Testament. Remarriage in the case of abandonment is not found in this text. The text is clear that marriage is for life; 1 Corinthians 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Eph. 5:21-33 The marriage relationship is used to illustrate the relationship of Christ to the church. If the marriage bond is separable then the bond between Christ the head and the church His body is also separable and this is unacceptable. Both bonds are permanent; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 1:7; Revelation 2:14; Revelation 2:20; Revelation 9:21; Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:2; Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:3; Revelation 18:9; Revelation 19:2.

The term is not well defined by the passages. The fact that it is used allegorically of nations or kings fornicating with the great whore could lead us to believe that it is illicit relations, but whether it is among singles, or among a married and an unknown, is not clear.

It would seem easiest to understand the word to refer to literally, any improper sexual activity, and allegorically any improper relationship with those you should not be having relationships with.

Since the Gospel texts are in the context of married partners and new married partners, it would seem that fornication is adultery. Adultery would cover any improper activity outside of the marriage, which also fits into the definition and usage of fornication.

Two other Greek words that need to be mentioned:

Both of these terms are related to divorce. "apoluo" which is a term used in secular Greek for dismissal from the army, or from jail. It also is used of setting a debtor free. (From Wayne A. Detzler's book, "NEW TESTAMENT WORDS IN TODAY'S LANGUAGE"; Wheaton: Victor Books, 1986, p 124.) This is the term translated "put away" in the Gospels.

"apostasion" which is used of the bill of divorcement. The Septuigent writers used this tern to translate the word in Deut 24:3. This is used in Matt 5:31; 19:7; Mark 10:4. This is also the term the Septuigent writers used in Jer. 3:8 for bill of divorcement.