As explained in the section “norms”, the Concordat of 1855 transferred the jurisdiction in matrimonial affairs back to the Catholic Church. In the archduchy Austria below the Enns the marriage proceedings had to be filed either at the court of the archdiocese of Vienna or at the court of the diocese of St. Pölten.
In contrast to the secular jurisdiction, here divorce proceedings once again required a complaining party. After the “Law on the marriage of Catholics in the Empire of Austria” had come into effect in 1857, uncontested divorces were no longer possible. Moreover, the Catholic marriage courts could again restrict the separation to a limited time period.
The archive of the Viennese metropolitan court could find files only from the marriage proceedings from the last quarter of 1867. In the archive of the St. Pölten diocesan court, however, the files of the marriage proceedings between 1857, 1868 and 1872 respectively are stored in 23 boxes. Furthermore, for the entire period there are two books of the hearings available.
While we were able to examine the court practice of the Metropolitan Court in Vienna only at the end of its jurisdiction, the dense source transmission of the St. Pölten court made it possible to examine the court practice at the beginning (January 1857 to June 1857) and at the end (September to December 1867) of its jurisdiction.
Andrea Griesebner / Isabella Planer, translation Jennifer Blaak
further: Claims of the Main Proceedings