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Willan v. Willan

Court of Appeal for England and Wales
2 All E.R. 463 (1960)


Mr. Willan (plaintiff) and Mrs. Willan (defendant) were married. Mr. Willan filed a petition for divorce based on cruelty. Mr. Willan alleged that Mrs. Willan frequently and repeatedly demanded sexual intercourse from Mr. Willan and coerced him to engage in intercourse via a variety of methods despite the fact that he was unwilling. Specifically, Mrs. Willan often was violent toward Mr. Willan until he relented and had sexual intercourse with her. Additionally, Mrs. Willan would often pester Mr. Willan for intercourse late into the night to the point where the only way Mr. Willan could sleep was to acquiesce in Mrs. Willan’s demands. Mrs. Willan objected to the divorce petition on the ground of condonation. Mrs. Willan argued that Mr. Willan’s act of engaging in the sexual intercourse amounted to condonation of her allegedly cruel conduct. The trial court agreed with Mrs. Willan and dismissed Mr. Willan’s petition for divorce. Mr. Willan appealed.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Willmer, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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