A charge made by an individual who is being accused of some act against the accuser.
Recrimination is sometimes used as a defense in actions for divorce. Traditionally the underlying theory was that a divorce could be granted only when one individual was innocent and the other guilty, and the defense of recrimination allowed the party accused of misconduct to terminate divorce proceedings by asserting guilt against the other party. As grounds for divorce were expanded, however, recrimination became more and more readily provable.
Recrimination has been limited or eliminated as a defense in some states, and others allow it only where one spouse accuses the other of adultery and the defendant wants to prove that the plaintiff was also guilty of that offense. In some jurisdictions, the courts have attempted to counterbalance the plaintiff's accusation with the defendant's defense by allowing only comparable grounds to be offset by recrimination.