1,576. When a Couple Disagrees as to Where the Problem Lies

Hilchos Ishus 15:8

If a couple has lived together for ten years without having children, if the husband demonstrates virility, we assume that the problem is on the wife’s end. In such a case, the man may divorce his wife without paying her the value of her kesubah, though she is still entitled to the additional amount. This is because she should not be treated more stringently than a congenitally infertile woman (ailonis) whose condition was not recognized. An ailonis is paid the additional amount, as we will see. If the husband does not demonstrate virility, then we assume that the problem is on his side. When he divorces her, he must pay the entire value of her kesubah including both the baseline and the additional amount.

Hilchos Ishus 15:9

If the husband blames the wife for their infertility and the wife blames the husband, saying that he doesn’t demonstrate virility, her word is accepted but he may issue a ban against anyone who intentionally makes unsubstantiated claims against him. He must then pay her the value of her kesubah. If she says that she doesn’t know on whose part the problem lies, she does not receive the baseline amount of the kesubah as we have discussed. This is because money stays in the hands of its owner until a definite claim is made against him. Her word is accepted when she makes a definite claim against him because she can feel if he releases his seed straight, which he is not able to determine.