By Tara N. Brewer
Special to DadsDivorce.com
What do you do when your happy matrimony suffers from infidelity?
Victims of infidelity might suffer from physical, mental, emotional and financial stress. Your untainted marriage has now become irreversibly broken, leaving you to wonder about the third party.
Where’s the retribution?
In North Carolina, two attorneys had a 17-year friendship that ended in betrayal. The victim, Christi Stern, accused her friend of having an affair with her husband.
According to Stern, the infidelity caused her stress that resulted in substantial damages. As retribution for these damages, she filed an alienation of affection lawsuit against her.
An alienation of affection lawsuit involves third party interference in a marriage. The victim of infidelity can bring action against the third party for interfering with the marriage.
This law only applies in specific states, such as Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.
A successful alienation of affection claim must show a loving marriage, alienation of the love, and the third party’s malicious conduct to cause it.
Though these suits are rare, courts often award significant financial damages, according to NewsObserver.com. The paper reports earlier this year the wife of a trucking company owner was awarded $30 million in an alienation of affection lawsuit, one of the largest in state history.
This modification indicates that this lawsuit is only valid in a healthy marriage. The couple cannot be separated at the time of the indiscretion.
However, if you are able to establish that your spouse voluntary engaged in sexual relations with another man during the marriage, and that the man “wrongfully and maliciously” destroyed a loving relationship between you and your wife, there could be a potential claim for damages against the man.
If you live in one of the states that allow alienation of affection suits to be brought, contact a Cordell & Cordell office to discuss your rights.