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An agreement between two or more people to defraud a person of his or her rights or to obtain something that is prohibited by law.

A secret arrangement wherein two or more people whose legal interests seemingly conflict conspire to commit Fraud upon another person; a pact between two people to deceive a court with the purpose of obtaining something that they would not be able to get through legitimate judicial channels.

Collusion has often been used in Divorce proceedings. In the past some jurisdictions made it extremely difficult for a couple to obtain a divorce. Often a "sweetheart" agreement would take place, whereby a husband or wife would commit, or appear to commit, Adultery or other acts that would justify a divorce. The public policy against collusive divorces is based on the idea that such actions would conflict with the effective administration by society of laws on marriage and divorce and would undermine marriage as a stabilizing force in society.

Virtually all jurisdictions have adopted no-fault divorce statutes or laws that allow a couple to obtain a divorce without traditional fault grounds, such as adultery or cruel and inhuman treatment. Because of this development, collusive divorces should diminish in number, since it will no longer be necessary for persons seeking a divorce to resort to such measures.

The fundamental societal objection to collusion is that it promotes dishonesty and fraud, which, in turn, undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. where two persons (or business entities through their officers or other employees) enter into a deceitful agreement, usually secret, to defraud and/or gain an unfair advantage over a third party, competitors, consumers or those with whom they are negotiating. Collusion can include secret price or wage fixing, secret rebates, or pretending to be independent of each other when actually conspiring together for their joint ends. It can range from small-town shopkeepers or heirs to a grandma's estate, to gigantic electronics companies or big league baseball team owners. (See: fraud)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


a deceitful or unlawful agreement. In England it is not a bar to an action of divorce. In Scotland it is still a defence to an action of divorce.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

COLLUSION, fraud. An agreement between two or more persons, to defraud a person of his rights by the forms of law, or to obtain an object forbidden by law; as, for example, where the husband and wife collude to obtain a divorce for a cause not authorized by law. It is nearly synonymous with @covin. (q.v.)
     2. Collusion and fraud of every kind vitiate all acts which are infected with them, and render them void. Vide Shelf. on Mar. & Div. 416, 450; 3 Hagg. Eccl. R. 130, 133; 2 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 51; Bousq. Dict. de Dr. mot Abordage.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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