Taking Action

Get Answers Start Your Divorce Stop Your Divorce Divorce Forms Online Support DivorceDesk

Divorce Tools

Online Divorce Online Negotiation Custody Tracker QDRO Preparation SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

State Resources

California Florida Illinois New York Texas SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Generate Clients Free Network Page Submit Articles Case Management Sign In

The Divorce Encyclopedia

Term Definition Recrimination - the counterclaim, for example, when both parties in a divorce allege adultery.
Application in Divorce Even in cases where a divorce ends in litigation, recrimination enters divorce actions less and less. Whether or not adultery is a factor in the divorce, legal advice should be sought before charging a spouse with adultery. Given the direction of divorce law, usually it is not worth the trouble and it can make litigation, which is painful and expensive, even more so. Before no-fault divorce, recrimination worked as a fault counterclaim defense.

When it is used, very often recrimination takes the form of an counter-charge of adultery or cruelty. Thus, two spouses going to battle stations end up charging each other with the same allegation as part of legal jockeying for position. In the case of adultery, recrimination could also include the naming of a co-respondent.

Under the doctrine of recrimination, if the conduct of both spouses gives both grounds for divorce, then neither is entitled to relief. Recrimination is a showing by the defendant as a bar to the plaintiff’s cause for divorce. In theory, for example, this means that Rufus, the defendant who is accused of adultery by Rhonda, makes a counterclaim that she is also guilty of adultery; then neither of them is entitled to a divorce. As a bar to divorce, "the complainant’s misconduct need not be of equal degree with the defendant but must be of the same general character."

Even if Rufus was seeing Rita and Rhonda had a fling with Ronald, most divorce lawyers advise against recrimination. Recrimination is like throwing gasoline of a fire. In some cases, there may be a tactical advantage, but in the main most divorce lawyers advise against allegations of adultery even when they are true. It is a weapon that makes a lot of noise, but one with which a person can easily shoot himself or herself in the foot.

In fact, recrimination has been abolished as a defense in many states since the enactment of no-fault divorce.

See Trial.

Add the Divorce Encyclopedia
to Your Website

The Research Center

Give Our Research Center a Try. Gain access to the same research material that lawyers often use to establish and win divorce cases. This material consists of legal journal articles and case explanation/analysis documents on a wide range of topics. If you think your situation is unique, your answers will most likely be here. In order to gain access to this area, you must establish an account, but you can search the documents before deciding.

The Divorce Source Difference

Since February 1st, 1997 (when we initially launched Divorcesource.com) we have helped millions of people contemplating or experiencing divorce. The reason we have been able to reach so many people is because we have made it a priority to listen to our customers. We have built a trust by listening and delivering what the customer needs, rather than what we think they want. This is the Divorce Source difference.

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

Custody Scheduling and Tracking

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:


Start Your Divorce File for Divorce


Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your Divorce


Track Child Custody Track Custody & Visitation

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site