Alienation of Affections + Criminal Conversation FAQs

My wife cheated on me. Can I sue her for Alienation of Affections and Criminal Conversation?

No. If you believe you have a claim for Alienation of Affections and / or Criminal Conversation, then you would be pursuing legal action against your wife’s lover. Your wife is only a witness to the claims alleged.

What do I have to prove to pursue a claim of Alienation of Affections?

Generally speaking, you have to show that you and your spouse had a happy marriage and that a genuine love and affection existed between you and that your spouse’s lover was a controlling and effective cause of your spouse’s alienation of affection from you.

If an Alienation of Affections suit is filed against me, do I have any legal defenses?

The two most obvious defenses are that your paramour did not have an existing marriage of love and affection or that your paramour’s spouse condoned the relationship. Obviously, if you believe your actions were also not the cause of the loss of affection between the spouses and can prove it, that is also a defense to this type of claim.

What if I did not know the person was married? Am I still guilty of Criminal Conversation?

The short answer is yes, you may be. Criminal conversation is what is called a strict liability claim and therefore if you had sexual intercourse with a married person (even if that person led you to believe he or she was separated), you can be liable of criminal conversation. This applies even if the person is separated.

Can I recover a large sum of money if I prove Alienation of Affections?

Typically, clients who file Alienation of Affections lawsuits are seeking monetary rewards. Clients can request both punitive and compensatory relief. Based on the individual case and the evidence presented, the amount awarded by the Court for both types of damages can vary drastically.


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