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To repudiate a right is to express in a sufficient manner, a determination not to accept it, when it is offered.
He who repudiates a right cannot by that act transfer it to another. Repudiation differs from renunciation in this, that by the former he who repudiates simply declares that he will not accept, while he who renounces a right does so in favor of another. Renunciation is however sometimes used in the sense of repudiation.
In the civil law this term is used to signify the putting away of a wife or a woman betrothed.Properly divorce is used to point out the separation of married persons; repudiation, to denote the separation either of married people, or those who are only affianced. Divortium est repudium et separatio maritorum; repodium est renunciatio sponsalium, vel etiam est divortium. Repudiation is also used to denote a determination to have nothing to do with any particular thing; as, a repudiation of a legacy, is the abandonment of such legacy, and a renunciation of all right to it.
In the canon law, repudiation is the refusal to accept a benefice which has been conferred upon the party repudiating.