Willan v. Willan
2 All E.R. 463 (Ct. of App. Eng. and Wales 1960)


  • H wanted a divorce on the ground of cruelty.
  • He claimed that W was physically and verbally abusive, extremely jealous, and often demanded sexual intercourse even when he didn’t want to have it.
  • On the night before H left for the last time, the two had intercourse.

Whether having intercourse with a spouse constitutes condonation, thus precluding a divorce on the ground of cruelty.



  • Condonation is when an accuser has previously forgiven or condoned (in some way or at some level supported) the act about which they are complaining.
    • Intercourse is conclusive evidence of condonation by the husband of the wife.
    • It’s the best possible way of showing that the wife has been reinstated.
    • The only exception is fraud.
  • While H may have been reluctant to submit himself to his wife, it does not mean that he acted involuntarily.