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In Law, What Is Connivance?

There are instances wherein an individual may consent to doing an illegal activity or an illegal activity is done with the knowledge of the individual, thus his or her active consent is involved. These instances refer to connivance, which is often confused with collusion. Connivance merely involves the active consent of an individual in an illegal activity while collusion involves planning and committing of an illegal activity.

For an individual to be described as conniving or having connived another, he or she must be proven to have actively encouraged or consented to the illegal activity. An individual guilty of connivance may be subject to the same consequences that the individual who committed the crime is subject to.
However, connivance can also include passive consent. For example, an individual who has come to know of a burglary and does nothing to report it may be accused of connivance. This legal finding is commonly found in divorce or fraud cases wherein a partner encouraged or consented to the other’s wrongdoing.

In cases involving divorce proceedings, if a spouse was proven to have encouraged his or her spouse to commit adultery, then the former cannot divorce the latter on grounds of adultery since he or she was given prior knowledge of it and allowed it to happen. However, under certain jurisdictions, connivance or proof of adultery is no longer necessary to obtain a divorce. A no fault divorce can be obtained without having to make claims against one’s spouse. Connivance can also be applied to those involved in insurance or tax fraud. Individuals with prior knowledge and assent of such crimes are guilty as well.

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