I have lived with my wife for 20 years and at the time of marriage I was 40 years older than her. Now because of my extreme old age I cannot consummate the marriage for the normal wear and tear issues that I need not repeat here. My wife is threatening that she intends to petition the Court for divorce because I am unable to consummate the marriage. Can I raise this defence in Court that inability to consummate the marriage is attributed to my extreme old age? What other options do I have?
In ability to consummate the marriage is a ground for divorce under section 107(2)(b) of the Law of Marriage Act. However, it is clearly stated in the above provisions that proof of a ground for divorce does not entitle the petitioner to a divorce decree as a right meaning that despite proof of inability to consummate the marriage, the Court may still decline to grant divorce after considering other factors like the cause of the inability to consummate the marriage. It seems like the cause in your case, as you have put it, is normal ‘wear and tear’ due to age, especially considering your present age, and this will be taken into account.
As for other options, you might want to contact your doctors or community leaders to help resolve this without having to go to Court?