What is Alienation of Affection?

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In the time before no-fault divorce, in which two partners can simply decide to separate with no legal justification required, you had to be able to prove that your spouse had wronged you in order to nullify your marriage. There were many possible grounds for divorce, such as adultery, cruelty or abuse, or failure to consummate. Another justification for divorce is what’s known as alienation of affection. Many states have done away with this category, which means it’s relatively unknown today, but it is still possible to file an alienation of affection case here in North Carolina. In this article, our team at the Law Office of Janice V. Coulter will go over more about what alienation of affection is and how it works.

What is Alienation of Affection?

Alienation of affection is a type of tort, or personal injury caused by a civil (rather than criminal) wrong. If your marriage ends due to your spouse’s adultery, you can file an alienation of affection lawsuit against the third party in order to get punitive damages. In order to succeed in this type of case, you will need to prove three things:

  1. That there was love between you and your spouse
  2. That your love was alienated or destroyed
  3. That the defendant (your spouse’s lover) caused or contributed to that loss of affection

There are many things to consider before you decide to pursue an alienation of affection suit, and it’s always best to consult with a lawyer about it before you go any further. Our team has the right experience to help you make the best decision for your situation, and if you do decide to move forward with your case, you can count on us to fight for you.