Term used in canon law, but now generally obsolete, meaning 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.
It may be express or implied as; if a husband, knowing of his wife's infidelity, cohabit with her.
For many reasons, condonation is not held so strictly against a wife as against a husband. 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 and cruelty revives condoned adultery.
Where the parties have separate beds there must, in order to find condonation, be something of matrimonial intercourse presumed; it does not rest merely on the wife's not withdrawing herself.
Condonation is a bar to a sentence of divorce. In Pennsylvania it was 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.'
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