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laws to be taken with a grain of salt

We keep hearing the term “marital duties”. The vast majority of people think about sex first. But is it really a duty? And how often? What are the marital duties according to the law?


Some exciting glimpses into your life and your mind. (Scroll down to article).


Although many believe that marital duty is an ancient tradition, it really does exist. From coitus to raising children to cleaning the house: the civil code “forces” spouses to do a lot of things, but some myths are completely absurd these days.

“Spouses have obligations towards each other; they are responsible for each other”. These words are supported by the so-called conjugal duties and obligations. Some are really surprising. Here are 8 examples:

charlene putting chris' ring on his finger

1. Sexual relations: how often?

Carnal relationships within marriage are a controversial legal issue. On the one hand, the refusal can constitute a fault and lead to a divorce or to the payment of damages.

On the other hand, sexual relations must be subject to the consent of the spouse. Spousal rape is a crime punishable by 20 years in prison. The question of how often to have sex in order to meet marital obligations is therefore completely outdated.

Happy feet

2. The right to have children?

Today, starting a family is no longer considered the main goal of marriage. Thus, neither spouse has more the right than the other to choose to have a child. Spouses are required to respect mutual agreements. Therefore, anyone secretly causing or preventing pregnancy is against marital obligations. You cannot impose a choice of pregnancy on a woman or deny her this right if that is what she wants. Marital obligations or not, the most important thing is to respect the other’s choices and to act accordingly.

Unwilling

3. Is adultery tolerated?

Spouses are required to be faithful. Unless other arrangements have been made. However, if you are entering into an open marriage, it is best to put it in writing.

Non-physical cheat, Red Light district, Amsterdam

4. Separation of property, but duty of assistance?

The conjugal duty consists in providing for the needs of the other. Morally and financially. Therefore, even if the separation of property has been agreed in a prenuptial contract, this does not exclude the obligation to pay alimony.

In addition, each spouse has the right to a reasonable amount of money, which they can freely dispose of, without having to account for it.

Cha-ching!

5. A lazy spouse?

By law, both spouses are also required to provide for the needs of the family and manage the household. You can distribute tasks, however, you cannot avoid them completely. So if you don’t bring money and do nothing at home, you are violating your marital duties.

Woman's work is never done

6. Married, but living in two different homes?

The bride and groom must live under the same roof, according to the law. Long-distance relationships are only allowed with reason, for example if the professional situation does not allow it. Otherwise, we expose ourselves to the suspicion of a white marriage.

But the marital duty to live together also means that you cannot kick your partner out in the event of an argument! It doesn’t matter who owns the apartment. To do this, you must first get a police order or court order.

One Suitcase, Two Gays

7. Special responsibility

When you get married, you take on a special level of responsibility. Husbands and wives must protect each other. If, for example, a man falls from a ladder and his wife does not call an ambulance, she is not only guilty of not providing assistance, but she commits a criminal offense, in extreme cases: manslaughter. .

RLM070

8. Respect and freedom in the relationship?

Respect is a conjugal duty, vexatious remarks, insults and blows are, in addition to being reprehensible and punishable, a breach of marital obligation. What is more, the spouses must respect the respective personal spaces.

Yay!  It's all mine!

Marital obligations and duties are not binding laws that can be enforced in court. However, they regulate what spouses can expect from each other, and what they cannot.

Here is other much more interesting information about relationships and family:

Sources: fachanwalt, familienrecht

Cover images: ©flickr / Yun Huang Yong ©flickr / Emergency Brake

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