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Criminal conversation was usually referred to by lawyers as crim.con., and was abolished in England in 1857, and the Republic of Ireland in 1976.Another tort, alienation of affection, arises when one spouse deserts the other for a third person.A marriage in which both spouses agree ahead of time to accept sexual relations by either partner with others is sometimes referred to as an open marriage or the swinging lifestyle.In countries where adultery is a criminal offense, punishments range from fines to caning and even capital punishment.Since the 20th century, criminal laws against adultery have become controversial, with international organizations calling for their abolition, especially in the light of several high-profile stoning cases that have occurred in some countries.Adultery (from Latin adulterium) is extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds.Though what sexual activities constitute adultery varies, as well as the social, religious, and legal consequences, the concept exists in many cultures and is similar in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
For example, in fault-based family law jurisdictions, adultery almost always constitutes a ground for divorce and may be a factor in property settlement, the custody of children, the denial of alimony, etc.
Adultery often incurred severe punishment, usually for the woman and sometimes for the man, with penalties including capital punishment, mutilation, or torture.
Such punishments have gradually fallen into disfavor, especially in Western countries from the 19th century.
A single act of sexual intercourse is generally sufficient to constitute adultery, and a more long-term sexual relationship is sometimes referred to as an affair.
Historically, many cultures have considered adultery to be a very serious crime.Although the legal definition of adultery differs in nearly every legal system, the common theme is sexual relations outside of marriage, in one form or another.