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Did your spouse cheat? Alienation of affection may apply

| Apr 9, 2020 | Firm News

When you married, you likely envisioned spending the rest of your life with your spouse. You may have daily felt that joyous love that comes with a relationship, and you just knew yours would last. Unfortunately, that is not what happened.

You may have felt blindsided when you found out that your spouse was having an affair. At first, you may have denied it, but when it became clear, the pain and torment you experienced after learning of this betrayal may have felt worse than any physical pain you could have imagined. Now, this ordeal has resulted in the end of your marriage and the beginning of your divorce case.

Alienation of affection

As your divorce case moves forward, you may wonder whether the affair will have any effect on your case. In particular, you may wonder whether you could obtain a more favorable settlement because of the wrongs you experienced. Depending on the exact nature of your predicament, you could potentially have reason to file an alienation of affection claim.

Alienation of affection means that a third party acted in a manner that made him or her responsible for the end of your marital relationship. As a result, you may choose to pursue damages against the person for the harm to your reputation and dignity that the affair caused. However, when bringing such a claim, you must prove three elements:

  • You had a loving marriage.
  • An action destroyed and alienated that love.
  • The person against whom you filed the claim caused or contributed to the destruction and alienation of that love.

It is common for these types of claims to come against those with whom a spouse cheated, but these cases are not altogether common. In fact, only six states allow alienation of affection claims, including North Carolina.

Handling this claim and your divorce

You may understandably feel uncertain about how alienation of affection could influence your case. As a result, you may want to ensure that you gain reliable information regarding this potential claim and its effects on your divorce. When handling such a complicated situation, you will undoubtedly want to have an attorney on your side who can effectively and efficiently handle your case and its many details. A legal professional knowledgeable in state laws regarding alienation of affection could ensure you get the most out of your divorce.