The United States Of Brazil
: Japanese Fairy Tales
The United States of Brazil (Estados Unidos do Brazil), the largest
country in South America and one of the most extensive political
subdivisions of the world, is a Republic comprising twenty States and a
Its present constitution was adopted February 24, 1891, and is in many
respects similar to that of the United States of America.
The legislative power is vested in the Pre
ident of the Republic and a
National Congress, consisting of a Senate and Chamber of Deputies.
The individual States are governed by their governors and legislatures,
and possess their own judicial systems.
The main body of the civil law has its origin in the Portuguese Code and
in the judicial precedents of Portugal.
There is a Supreme Federal Court of Justice, which sits at the capital,
Rio de Janeiro, and Federal Courts in each of the twenty States.
Ninety-nine per centum of the people of Brazil are Roman Catholics and
consider marriage as a religious sacrament, but the law of the land
considers it simply as a civil contract.
MARRIAGE.--The Civil Code defines marriage as a perpetual contract between
two persons of different sex to live together and establish a legitimate
A civil or legal celebration of marriage is compulsory for all persons,
irrespective of race or creed. If after the civil marriage the parties may
desire to satisfy their consciences and the mandates of their church or
sect by having the marriage solemnized in a religious form, there is no
legal objection thereto.
Marriage is forbidden:
1. Of minors under the age of 21 years, unless with parental consent.
2. Of persons of adult age who are incapable of properly governing
themselves or their estates, without the authorization of their legal
3. Of an adulterous wife with her accomplice who has been condemned for
4. Of a wife or widow who has been condemned as the principal or
accomplice of the crime of homicide with a principal or accomplice in the
5. Of a person bound by solemn vows of religion to a life of chastity.
The canon law of the Roman Catholic Church is accepted as defining the
religious rules and spiritual effects of marriage, but the civil law
defines the status and temporal effects of the marriage contract.
PROHIBITED MARRIAGES.--The following persons are forbidden to marry each
1. Ascendants and descendants.
2. Persons related collaterally in the second degree.
3. Males who have not completed their fourteenth year and females who have
not completed their twelfth year of age.
4. Persons already bound by marriage.
PRELIMINARIES.--The intending parties must present themselves in person
before the registrar and produce certificates showing:
A. Full names, ages, occupations and domiciles of the contracting
B. The full names, ages, occupations and domiciles of their parents, or,
if they are dead, the same particulars of those who replace them in loco
C. Proof of the consents of such persons who in law are entitled to give
or withhold consent to the proposed marriage.
D. A declaration in writing by two respectable witnesses of full age,
certifying acquaintance with the contracting parties, and knowledge that
they are not related within the prohibited degrees of kinship.
If either of the contracting parties has been previously married, proof of
the death of the former spouse must be given to the registrar.
Upon receiving satisfactory proof as stated above, the registrar must post
a notice of the proposed marriage in a conspicuous place in his office,
which notice informs all interested persons to file their objections, if
any they have, in the registry within fifteen days. If at the end of this
period no valid objection to the marriage has been formulated the civil
officer proceeds to the celebration of the marriage.
A marriage concluded before a civil officer in the form established by the
civil law of Brazil can only be annulled by a civil court.
DIVORCE.--The law of the Republic does not permit of an absolute divorce
for any cause whatsoever. A true marriage can only be dissolved by the
death of one of the parties.
JUDICIAL SEPARATION.--A separation of the person and goods may be had for
the following causes:
1. Adultery of the wife.
2. Adultery of the husband, if such adultery creates a public scandal, or
if the husband brings his concubine into the home he has established for
3. Sentence of one of the spouses to life imprisonment.
4. Cruel and ill-human treatment.
FOREIGN MARRIAGES.--The courts of Brazil recognize as valid a marriage
between two foreigners concluded in a foreign land, provided that such
marriage is monogamous, is not between ascendants or descendants, or
between persons related collaterally in the second degree, and if such
marriage was regularly concluded according to the law of the country of
A marriage abroad of a citizen of the Republic of Brazil must conform not
only to the law of the place of its celebration, but must also be in
strict accordance with the law of Brazil.