Alienation of affection

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North Carolina is one of the few states that still has alienation of affection laws on the books.

According to Carolinafamilylaw.com:

Alienation of Affection is a legal action (a tort) based on willful and malicious interference with marriage relations by a third party. In a divorce matter, Alienation of Affection actions are often brought along with Criminal Conversations actions.

For a plaintiff spouse to recover for Alienation of Affection, the following elements are required:

  • the parties to the marriage were happily married and genuine love and affection existed between them;
  • such love and affection was alienated and destroyed; and
  • the wrongful and malicious acts of the defendant brought about the loss and alienation of such love and affection.

But if someone can come in and ruin your marriage, is it worth it to go after them in court? Moreover, will it bring your spouse back?

I asked a few random people on the street if they would use this law to get "revenge" on the other woman/man.

Divorced woman said, "Hell no. Yes, my ex cheated on me. But when he left me for her, I thought I should've given her a check. My marriage was bad and in the three years since the divorce, my life has been great."

Single man said, "After I beat the hell out of him for cracking on my woman, I might be the one in court. Seriously, a person can't steal your woman if she doesn't want to go. We have free will."

A newlywed couple said:

He: "If it was someone that I know and that I have talked to about how great my wife is, then yes, I would sue him for stealing her away. But most of the people I know are broke and I wouldn't get anything in the end."

She: "That would never happen to us. But if it did, I don't see how a lawsuit would make it better. All I'd want back is my husband and if he's been with some slut who stole him away, I'd probably not want to be with him again. He'd have her cooties."

Maybe we should just accept that a relationship is over and leave the legal wrangling for divorce court.

But in our fair state:

North Carolina juries have handed out big awards in Alienation of Affection cases. In 2001, a Greensboro jury awarded $2 million to the Plaintiff.  Another jury awarded $1.2 million in 1997 in a Forsyth County case.  Other awards include $1 million to an Alamance County woman, $243,000 to a Wake County man, and $40,000 to a Durham County man whose wife allegedly ran off with another man.

And they say money can't buy you love.

One side note, with popular websites like Adult Friend Finder and Ashley Madison, how long will it be before scorned lovers sue them because their exes logged on and found outside booty?

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