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The Objective and Subjective Scope of the Marital Duty to Help and Support

The relevant provisions of Article 27 of the Polish Family and Guardianship Code that institute a marital duty to help and support are mandatory and apply “by default,” i.e. to each and every marriage, irrespective of the specific matrimonial property regime or other pre-nuptial agreements between husband and wife. The paper explores the scope of this support obligation (both substantive and personal), and considers the impact of the spousal cohabitation status on the support obligation both in Polish and foreign law. Despite being commonly accepted and invoked in both everyday parlance and judicial discourse, several contrasts may be drawn with regard to the duty between family codes in force across European jurisdictions, and the Model Family Code.