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When is betrayal permissible?

When is betrayal permissible

The betrayal is considered an act that violates marital duties but is not a crime. It is treated as a civil offense, leading only to the loss of inheritance rights and maintenance, known as “blame.”

However, betrayal may not be penalized if it is not the main cause of the marriage dissolution. In such cases, the unfaithful spouse retains rights to maintenance and inheritance. To demonstrate that betrayal is not the cause of the marital breakdown, the spouse must show that it was a consequence of an existing crisis.

There are situations in which betrayal is legally acceptable: when the couple has already requested or is about to request separation, when the couple is effectively separated, when the couple constantly conflicts, no longer has sexual relations, or sleeps in separate rooms, when one of the spouses has left the marital home, when one of the spouses has previously betrayed the other, making subsequent betrayal a reaction, when one of the spouses is violent towards the other.

In cases of domestic violence, the Supreme Court has ruled that physical or moral violence by one spouse results in the assignment of separation blame, regardless of any suffered betrayals. The severity of violent actions cannot be justified by the breach of the duty of fidelity, especially if this breach precedes the violent acts. This decision was issued in response to the appeal of a man accused of repeatedly mistreating his wife. Despite attempting to justify his actions with his wife’s infidelity, the Court held that the violent actions represent such a serious violation of marital duties as to justify assigning separation blame.

The Supreme Court highlighted that the severity of violent actions cannot be balanced with the breach of the duty of fidelity, especially if the latter precedes the violence.

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