A marriage imposes certain duties and responsibilities on husband and wife. According to the Mauritian Civil Code, these duties and responsibilities are essentially: (i) the mutual duty of fidélité, secours, assistance, (ii) the duty to together ensure la direction morale et matérielle de la famille, (iii) the duty to provide for the éducation des enfants et préparer leur avenir, (iv) the duty to contribuer aux charges du mariage à proportion de leurs facultés respectives, and (v) the duty to have une communauté de vie, the conjugal house being au lieu qu’ils choisissent d’un commun accord.
If an offending spouse seriously or repeatedly breaches his or her duties, the other spouse is entitled to singly lodge a divorce petition against the offending spouse on the grounds of faute(s). A divorce for faute(s) is thus a confrontational process (as compared to a divorce by mutual consent which is an amicable and collaborative process).
There is no exhaustive list of possible fautes but, as an illustration, the most commonly mentioned ones are singly or jointly (i) adultery, (ii) abandonment, (iii) physical or psychological violence, whether against the spouse or the children, (iv) insults, (v) alcoholism, (vi) drug addiction, (vii) lack of intimacy, (viii) neglect to provide for the family, whether as a result of gambling or otherwise, (ix) disinterest from communicating, amongst other, (x) lies about or concealment of certain facts prior to or during the marriage, for example impotence, illnesses, disabilities, financial difficulties, employment status, (xi) failure to give support, for ex in case of health issues, (xi) criminality, even against persons other than the spouse, etc.
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