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Related to condonation: novation


In marriage, the voluntary pardoning by an innocent spouse of an offense committed by his or her partner conditioned upon the promise that it will not recur.

Condonation, which is used as a defense in Divorce actions based on fault grounds, is strongly supported by public policy. The institution of marriage and its preservation are considered essential for the stability of society, and therefore condonation is encouraged to promote the notion that marriages should not be lightly dissolved.

The elements of condonation are the resumption of normal marital relations after knowledge of the offense or offenses and the promise that the offense will not be repeated. Various cases have attempted to interpret whether or not condonation has actually taken place. If, for example, a wife commits Adultery and her husband, after discovering this, allows her to return to their home but does not resume normal marital relations with her, a full condonation has not taken place. Whether or not a marital relationship has been fully resumed is generally considered to be a Question of Fact in divorce cases.

Whether or not condonation has taken place is important in the area of maintenance or support obligations. In many states, remedies for nonsupport will be granted only when there is a showing that the husband has been guilty of a serious marital offense. If a husband who has committed such an offense can prove condonation, he can use this as a defense to his wife's claim of nonsupport. Similarly, condonation has important consequences in formulating the grounds for divorce. If a woman's husband has beaten her on a few occasions but she subsequently continued to cohabit with him, she might later be unable to sue for divorce on grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment.

Some offenses, such as mental cruelty, due to their ongoing, continuous nature, may not be eliminated by a showing of condonation.


noun absolution, accommodation, acquittal, allowance, amnesty, cancellation, charity, clemency, compassion, conciliation, concord, dismissal, disposition to pardon, disregard, excusal, exemption, exoneration, expiation, extenuation, forgiveness, full pardon, grace, impunity, indemnity, indulgence, lenience, magnanimity, mercy, nonliability, overlooking, pardon, reconcilement, reprieve, sympathy, vindication, willingness to forgive
Associated concepts: condonation as grounds for a dissoluuion of a marriage
See also: amnesty, impunity, lenience, remission, tolerance, understanding


the defence to an action for divorce for adultery in canon law and other systems, such as Scots law, that the ‘innocent’ spouse having forgiven the adulterous spouse, cannot now take proceedings.

CONDONATION. A term used in the canon law. It is a forgiveness by the husband of his wife, or by a wife of her husband, of adultery committed, with an implied condition that the injury shall not be repeated, and that the other party shall be treated with conjugal kindness. 1 Hagg. R. 773; 3 Eccl. Rep. 310. See 5 Mass. 320 5 Mass. 69; 1 Johns. Ch. R. 488.
     2. It may be express or implied, as, if a husband, knowing of his wife's infidelity, cohabit with her. 1 Hagg. Rep. 789; 3 Eccl. R. 338.
     3. Condonation is not, for many rea sons, held so strictly against a wife as against a husband. 3 Eccl. R. 830 Id. 341, n.; 2 Edw. R. 207. As all condonations, by operation of law, are expressly or impliedly conditional, it follows that the effect is taken off by the repetition of misconduct; 3 Eccl. R. 329 3 Phillim. Rep. 6; 1 Eccl. R. 35; and cruelty revives condoned adultery. Worsley v. Worsley, cited in Durant v. Durant, 1 Hagg. Rep. 733; 3 Eccl. Rep. 311.
     4. In New York, an act of cruelty alone, on the part of the husband, does not revive condoned adultery, to entitle the wife to a divorce. 4 Paige's R. 460. See 3 Edw. R. 207.
     5. Where the parties have separate beds, there must, in order to found condonation, be something of matrimonial intercourse presumed; it does not rest merely on the wife's not. withdrawing herself. 3 Eccl. R. 341, n.; 2 Paige, R. 108.
     6. Condonation is a bar to a sentence of divorce. 1 Eccl. Rep. 284; 2 Paige, R. 108. In Pennsylvania, by the Act of the 13th of March, 1815, Sec. 7, 6 Reed's Laws of Penna. 288, it is enacted that "in any suit or action for divorce for cause of adultery, if the defendant shall allege and prove that the plaintiff has admitted the defendant into conjugal society or embraces, after he or she knew of the criminal fact, or that the plaintiff (if the husband) allowed of his wife's prostitutions, or received hire, for them, or exposed his wife to lewd company, whereby she became ensnared to the crime aforesaid, it shall be a good defence, and perpetual bar against the same." The same rule may be found, perhaps, in the codes of most civilized countries. Villanova Y Manes, Materia Criminal Forense, Obs. 11, c. 20, n. 4. Vide, generally, 2 Edw. 207; Dev. Eq. R. 352 4 Paige, 432; 1 Edw. R. 14; Shelf. on M. & D. 445; 1 John. Ch. R. 488 4 N. Hamp. R. 462; 5 Mass. 320.

References in periodicals archive ?
The other main exclusionary rationales--avoiding judicial condonation of police misconduct and compensating victims of overreaching--fail straightforward cost-benefit tests.
Condonation occurred when the innocent party continued to live with the guilty party after learning of marital misconduct.
Powers reasoned that interaction at a prom between romantic partners was a form of sexual activity and that if permission were granted, it would be seen as both an endorsement and condonation of conduct contrary to Catholic Church teachings.
According to the Department, as per paras 19 and 20 of the IPO-2013 any aggrieved importer may approach the Ministry of Commerce for relaxation/ condonation.
However, in a recent case, the request for the condonation of opening pre-shipment L/C was turned out.
It seems unclear that either or both of these are requirements for what is accepted as ethical euthanasia, not least in the context of the State Commission's condonation of euthanasia for the irreversibly comatose - where you have neither autonomy nor presumably, suffering, unbrearable or otherwise.
It is to be distinguished: from justification of the offense on the grounds of mitigating factors; from mercy towards the offender, which can be shown only by an authority with the qualifications to pass formal legal judgment; from condonation of the offense in the interests of family or community harmony.
se For a nineteenth-century discussion of condonation and recrimination, see Horne v.
The second round of objections, coming in the seventies and eighties, "took place in the East and Midwest by the religious right and African-Americans, with the latter group objecting to [the novel's] condonation of institutional racism.
villainy and serve as further condonation of Israeli terror, we read Arthur Koestler's "Open Letter to a Parent of a British Soldier in Palestine" protesting British action forcing ships to return with their "doomed hysterical load, back to where they came from.
The first was the idolization of authority in the interwar years, when authority was defined inadequately and worshipped fanatically, resulting in the rejection of democracy and legality and in the condonation of dictatorship.
In the context of the Charter, the court has stated that disrepute may arise from judicial condonation of unacceptable conduct by the investigatory and prosecutional agencies", and "the basis on which entrapment is recognised lies in the need to preserve the purity of the administration of justice".