Wife didn't have to tell husband she had AIDS before marryin
Wife didn't have to tell husband she had AIDS before marrying him, rules court
'Check out people's stories before you marry them,' says lawyer
By Richard Shears
A husband whose wife failed to tell him she had AIDS before they wed has lost his bid to have the marriage annulled.
In a landmark case, the Family Court of Australia said the wife's failure to inform him of her condition did not negate the husband's consent to marriage.
The court heard that the wife was in her 30s when she was diagnosed with AIDS in 2006. And the husband, who is in his 50s, said he would never have married her if he'd known about her condition.
Wedding: A husband has failed to overturn his marriage because his wife lied to him about having AIDS
The husband asked for the marriage to be made null and void, rather than dissolved, because he believed it would mean his wife would not be able to pursue him for a property settlement.
But the court said that he was mistaken in thinking there could be no property settlement if the marriage was found to be void.
It is not known if the husband contracted HIV or AIDS.
Ian Shann, a family law expert, said the moral of the case was simple: 'Check out people's stories before you marry them.'
He did not think there was much difference between lying about health, financial circumstances or financial intentions.
Virus: The husband thought his wife's deception about her illness should be a grounds for annulment
It is believed that in the closed court hearing in Melbourne the husband had used a clause in the Marriage Act that says a a marriage is void in the event that the consent of either parties is not a real consent because 'it was obtained by fraud.'
Mr Shann said the grounds for getting a decree of nullity included bigamy, being too young to be married, being in a phoney marriage, being pressured into a marriage and a case of fraud such as mistaken identity.
'This particularly case did not fall within any of those circumstances,' he told the Herald Sun newspaper.
'But the wife clearly lied and the husband was clearly placed in a precarious position because of the lie.'
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.