Woman found guilty of divorce for not sleeping with her husband

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A WOMAN has sued the French State after being found guilty of her divorce for not sleeping with her husband.

Three judges, all of them women, from the Versailles Court of Appeal found Barbara, 66, responsible for her divorce from her husband for not sleeping with him and she was convicted in 2019.

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They ruled that it was “a serious and continuous violation of the duties and obligations of marriage, making life together intolerable”, although she was not sentenced to pay compensation.

Now, the mother of four has sued the State before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and her lawyer explained that they are struggling to eliminate this “principle” of guilt extracted from an “archaic” reading made by the judges.

“In French law there is no obligation to have sexual relations. It is an interpretation made by judges that dates back to canonical law from the time of Napoleon that persists in France” she said.


Barbara, who has suffered serious health problems since 1992 that led to her disability, has had the support and assistance of feminist associations.

They are aware that the process could take several years.

There have already been other convictions in France for failing to comply with conjugal obligations as in 2011 a man was sentenced for not sleeping with his wife to a fine of €10,000.



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Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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