Man ordered to pay wife for lack of sex

by Kate Marr on October 11, 2011

Kate Marr, Family LawyerOn 6 September 2011 an article was published on the ninemsn website regarding a woman in France being successful in suing her husband in the amount of $13,000 because he did not have sex with her for “several years”.

The website reports that the woman claimed that her husband neglected his matrimonial duties to her over the course of their 21 year marriage.  In the husband’s defence the Court heard that work and illness prevented the husband regularly sleeping with his wife.

It is reported, that in France, there are laws which require both parties in a marriage are to uphold “lifelong community” that includes having sex, in what it seems (after this Court decision) on a somewhat regular basis.

I can’t find any similar case in the Australian jurisdiction regarding  family law.  It is a consideration in the Australian family law system when dealing with property disputes, that the Court takes into account contributions by each party that includes contributions to the welfare of the family.

Whilst I do not consider that an argument before an Australian Family Law Court will succeed in that a party to the marriage made a negative contribution by not having sex with their spouse, such argument could potentially in the future be posed by a party when dealing with property settlement matters.  However, I don’t think that a Judge or a Federal Magistrate  is likely to contribute a monetary amount to be deemed as “compensation” for a lack of sexual intercourse during the marriage.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Dark November 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Well, it would certainly imply a great many things if an Australian judge DID do something as barmy as the French judge. What about “no means no”? Could every man denied sex for extended periods for no discernible reason then sue the wife? Would this then imply the husband had a reciprocal right to demand sex whenever he felt like it? What a can of worms this French fellow has opened for himself and his colleagues. Of course, if it ever happened in Australia, it would simply end up being favourable only to women, because we all know how the law works here.

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