For the lower end of the social scale, property was not such a problem. The arrangement was a spoken marriage contract—in Latin verba de praesenti—taken alone or before witnesses.
For couples that could not secure their families' blessings, this was a consolation.
Court records are a trove of intimate tittle-tattle and gory details that shamefaced ladies and gentlemen would have preferred to keep private.
Lawsuits transcend social class, and the documents of the disputes leave the impression that all the way up to the lesser gentry, there was dirty linen.
For the more unfortunate, if the parents disapproved of their son's choice, they could veto the alliance.