Condonation Of Matrimonial Offences


The term condonation refers to the very forgiveness of matrimonial offence. It is also the restoration of offending spouse to the same position as he he or she occupied before the offence was actually committed. The primary elements of Condonation are:

  1. Forgiveness
  2. Restoration

It is basically the voluntary pardoning by an innocent spouse of an offense committed by his or her partner conditioned upon the promise that it won’t certainly recur. Condonation is also used as a defense in divorce actions based on the various fault grounds. The prime reason behind encouraging condonation is that marriage should not be dissolved lightly.


The prime elements of condonation are

  1. Resumption of normal marital relations after knowledge of offense or offenses
  2. Promise that the offense will not be repeated

The doctrine of condonation stems out of the very need to prevent a spouse who certainly has forgiven an offence by the other from changing his mind and by founding a petition for matrimonial relief upon it.


When husband cohibits with wife even after the knowledge that she had been guilty of cohabiting with another person would be sufficient to constitute condonation in matters of adultery.  The husband’s condonation of adultery disentitles him to decree of divorce even when such condonation is for the sake of dignity of the family or any such matter in particular.


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