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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 11-17-2005, 04:31 PM
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Default What Is Adultry?

Quote:
Family Law: Adultery

(JND) - Adultery is generally defined as consensual sexual intercourse by a married person with someone other than their lawful spouse. As there is usually an implicit or explicit agreement between spouses to not have sex outside the marriage, the common synonym for adultery is infidelity as well as unfaithfulness or in colloquial speech, cheating.

The sexual partner of a person committing adultery is often referred to in legal documents (especially divorce proceedings) as a co-respondent, while the person whose spouse has been unfaithful is often labeled a cuckold; originally, the latter term was applied only to males, but in more recent times women have been characterized in this way too.

A marriage in which both spouses agree that it is acceptable to have sexual relationships with other people is termed open marriage and the resulting sexual relationships are generally not considered adulterous, at least from a non-legal standpoint. The law in some areas may not recognize open-marriage agreements and thus such extramarital sex may be considered adultery nonetheless. Sometimes only one party in an open marriage will opt to have other sexual relationships, in which case the one who does not do so is referred to as a wittol: sometimes called a "contented cuckold".

Penalties for adultery:
Historically adultery has been subject to severe sanctions including the death penalty and has been grounds for divorce under fault-based divorce laws. In some places the method for punishing adultery was traditionally stoning to death.

In the original Napoleonic Code, a man could ask to be divorced from his wife if she committed adultery, but the adultery of the husband was not a sufficient motive unless he had kept his concubine in the family home.

In many jurisdictions (e.g, Austria, Greece, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan), adultery is still illegal, but enforcement of the laws is often uneven. In places where adultery laws are actually enforced, women are often punished more harshly than men, in some cases being considered guilty of adultery even when they have been raped. This has been alleged to happen in Nigeria and Pakistan.

In the United States, laws vary from state to state. For example, in the State of Pennsylvania adultery is technically punishable by 2 years of imprisonment or 18 months of treatment for insanity. That being said, such statutes are typically considered blue laws, and are rarely, if ever, enforced. In the U.S. Military, adultery is a court-martialable offense only if it was "to the prejudice of good order and discipline" or "of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces." This has been applied to cases where both partners were members of the military (and particularly where one is in command of the other), or one partner and the other's spouse.

In Canadian law, adultery is defined under the Divorce Act. Though the written definition sets it as extramarital relations with someone of the opposite sex, the recent change in the definition of marriage gave grounds for a British Columbia judge to strike that definition down. In a 2005 case of a woman filing for divorce, her husband had cheated on her with another man, which the judge felt was equal reasoning to dissolve the union.
http://www.juiceenewsdaily.com/1105/...?1130911063234
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