Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Nuptias non concubitus sed consensus facit. Definition:

Latin: consent, not physical intercourse, constitutes marriage.

A maxim if the Roman law that held a marriage valid provided the formalities had been observed, including consent validly given, and without a focus on consummation.

This meant that:

"As cohabitation, therefore, was no proof of marriage, so separate houses were no proof that it was dissolved."1

This maxim was essential to women, especially wed to men in dangerous occupations, and who wished to assert property rights in the estate of their deceased husband.


  • Phillimore, John George, Principles and Maxims of Jurisprudence (London: Parker and Son, 1856), page 129 [NOTE 1].

Categories & Topics:

Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only)

If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!