Undergoing divorce is undoubtedly challenging, and matters may be complicated if your partner has had an affair. If you are considering pursuing an alienation of affection claim or if you are facing one, it is important to understand the basics of this legal action. Alienation of affection is a civil tort that refers to wrongful interference with a marriage. Here are some frequently asked questions about the alienation of affection and their answers:
What is Alienation of Affection?
Alienation of affection is a civil tort that allows a spouse to sue a third party for wrongfully interfering in the marital relationship. This can include actions such as having an affair with a married person or otherwise causing a breakdown in the marriage.
Is Alienation of Affection Recognized in All States?
No, alienation of affection is not recognized in all states. Currently, only a few states allow for this legal action, including North Carolina, Mississippi, Utah, New Mexico, and Hawaii.
How Does Alienation of Affection Work?
To pursue an alienation of affection claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate that a third party interfered with the marital relationship and that this interference caused harm to the marriage. The plaintiff must also show that the third party’s actions were intentional and that they acted with malice or wrongful intent.
If successful, the plaintiff can recover damages, including compensation for emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of financial support.
What is Required to Prove Alienation of Affection?
In some states, the plaintiff must demonstrate that there was genuine love and affection between the spouses before the third party’s interference, that the third party intentionally caused harm to the marriage, and that the harm resulted in the loss of love, affection, or companionship.
Additionally, the plaintiff must show that the third party’s actions were a direct cause of the harm to the marriage and that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the interference.
What are Some Defenses to an Alienation of Affection Claim?
Defenses to an alienation of affection claim can include showing that the third party did not interfere with the marriage, that the plaintiff did not have genuine love and affection for their spouse, or that the third party did not act with wrongful intent. In some states, there is a statute of limitations for pursuing an alienation of affection claim. This means that the plaintiff must file their claim within a certain period of time after the interference occurred.
Can I Pursue an Alienation of Affection Claim Even If My Spouse Consented to the Affair?
Yes, in some cases, a spouse can pursue an alienation of affection claim even if their spouse consented to the affair. However, this can depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the laws of the state in which the claim is being pursued.
Should I Pursue an Alienation of Affection Claim?
Pursuing an alienation of affection can be a complex and emotionally challenging process. It is important to carefully consider your options and consult with an experienced attorney before taking any legal action.
It is important to remember that a successful alienation of affection claim does not guarantee the restoration of a marriage or the recovery of damages. It is ultimately up to the plaintiff to decide if pursuing this legal action is the right choice for their individual situation.
Alienation of affection is a complex legal action that can have significant emotional and financial consequences. If you are considering pursuing an alienation of affection claim or if you are facing one, it is important to understand the basics of this legal action. Whether you’re going through a challenging divorce or separation process, have concerns over obtaining child custody, or otherwise, you can trust the attorneys at Romanowski to protect your interests and work your case for you. Contact us to learn more.