Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

22/5/2007

Cupar Sheriff Court Aliment Decrees, 1830 – 1854

When an unmarried woman gave birth to an illegitimate child, very often she brought an action against the father for aliment, claiming for inlying expenses, whilst she was pregnant, and also for financial support for the child.

These expenses varied from case to case, but usually inlying expenses were awarded at around �2, and child aliment at around �5 yearly, until the child reached 10-12 years. Damages were also awarded for breach of promise (marriage), and these were higher if aggravated by an illegitimate birth; in the listing below damages of �60, �100 and �200 have been awarded. If the woman could not afford the cost of the action, very often she would petition for admission to the Poor Roll, and the Court would appoint a Procurator for her (an early form of legal aid).

for more go to the link on the rhs
(Fife Family History Society)

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