What is Collusion and How Does it Affect Me?

So you’ve probably heard about collusion before but usually between competing companies who are working together to keep their prices high or something along those lines.  But you may not have considered the impact of collusion on your divorce case. In South Carolina, collusion is a defense that can be used in divorce proceedings that will basically prevent a fault-based divorce from being granted.

Merriam-Webster defines collusion as, “a secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose.”

S.C. Code §20-3-70 states,”[i]f it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court that the parties to any divorce proceeding colluded or that the act complained of was done with the knowledge or assent of the plaintiff for the purpose of obtaining a divorce the court shall not grant such divorce.”

So what does that mean?  If you and your spouse are contemplating a divorce and you find out that you do not have any fault-based grounds for divorce (physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness, or adultery) and you are going to have to live separate and apart for more than one year to get a divorce, you may try to come up with a plan where one spouse goes out and has an “affair” so you can move ahead and get your divorce quicker.  If this happens, it is likely that your divorce won’t be granted because you and your spouse committed this action for the “purpose of obtaining a divorce.”

Speak Your Mind