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The Divorce Encyclopedia

Term Definition Collusion - in a divorce, the agreement between estranged partners for one to commit an act that would justify a divorce.
Application in Divorce Liberalization in divorce laws have largely eliminated collusion between divorcing spouses.

When no-fault divorce did not exist, marital fault was required by law to get a divorce. In marriages where marital fault did not exist, but yet each spouse wanted a divorce, the spouses would work together as a team to agree to a fictitious event that would substantiate marital fault in the eyes of the court.

In the age of no-fault divorce, collusion has taken on a new dimension. In quite a few states, the no-fault grounds for a divorce require that each spouse be living separate and apart from one another for a specific period of time (6-18 months depending on the state). A divorce cannot be filed for or granted until this set period of time has elapsed. In order to avoid this lengthy waiting period, spouses will create a fictitious separation date in order to substantiate the living separate and apart requirement. This would also be considered collusion.

See also Certification of Noncollusion.

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