Marital Rights Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Marital Rights, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Marital Rights?

(n) Marital right is the right of a husband to have normal sexual relations with his wife and a general control of management of the household activities.

History and Meaning of Marital Rights

Marital rights refer to the rights and privileges that a spouse is entitled to in a marital relationship. Traditionally, marital rights were defined from a male perspective, viewing the husband as the primary "breadwinner," head of household, and having rights to his wife's body. This perspective has changed as society has evolved, and marital rights now encompass a broader range of rights applicable to both spouses.

Marital rights typically include rights to shared property, fair distribution of assets upon divorce or separation, the right to make medical decisions for a spouse, and the right to make end-of-life decisions for a spouse. It is important to note that marital rights can vary depending on the jurisdiction and country in which the couple resides.

Examples of Marital Rights

  1. A husband and wife agreeing to share joint ownership of a business and any profits earned from it.
  2. A wife making an end-of-life decision for her husband according to his wishes.
  3. A husband filing for divorce and seeking a fair distribution of joint assets with his soon-to-be ex-wife.
  4. A wife consenting to her husband's medical treatment and providing medical information to healthcare professionals.

Legal Terms Similar to Marital Rights

  1. Domestic partnership - a legal relationship between two individuals that live together and are not married but share similar legal rights to marital rights.
  2. Separation maintenance - a legal proceeding in which a married couple lives apart, but the financial arrangement between them remains intact.
  3. Common law marriage - a type of marriage in which the couple lives together but has not obtained a marriage license, but still enjoys legal marital rights.