Alienation and Criminal Conversation

If you discover that your divorce has been caused by the interference of a third party you may have a claim for alienation of affection and/or criminal conversation. Both are civil tort claims still recognized in North Carolina and entitle the wronged spouse to recover monetary damages.

What is Alienation of Affection?

Alienation of affection allows a spouse to sue any third party for committing wrongful acts that deprived him/her of the love and affection of their spouse. Often the third party is a lover, however, it can be any person who alienates the spouses, such as a mother in law, friend or even a stepchild. To have a valid claim for alienation of affections you must prove the following:

  1. A valid marriage existed with genuine love and affection.
  2. The genuine love was alienated.
  3. The third party’s wrongful acts caused the alienation.
  4. The acts occurred during the marriage, prior to separation.

What is Criminal Conversation?

Criminal Conversation usually accompanies a claim for alienation of affection and occurs when the third party has sexual relations with the spouse.  To have a valid claim for criminal conversation you only need to prove that:

  1. A valid marriage existed.
  2. Sexual intercourse occurred between the third party and the spouse during the marriage, prior to separation.  Proof of sexual intercourse can be circumstantial.

A wronged spouse may use the threat of filing these claims to negotiate a more favorable outcome in the divorce. If you are considering filing pursuing either claim, to ensure that your rights are protected our knowledgeable family law attorneys are able discuss your options and provide you with tailored advice.

What if you are being sued for Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation?

If you are facing a suit against you for alienation of affection and/or criminal conversation there are defenses that can be used. Defenses include consent, separation, jurisdiction, and a three-year statute of limitations. Our experienced family law attorneys can ensure that all valid defenses are properly plead to protect your interests.  

Our attorneys are able to provide experienced representation in prosecuting or defending these claims. Our divorce team includes Board Certified Specialists in Family Law, specially trained Collaborative Divorce Professionals and an expert in adoption in North Carolina.  Whether you believe that your divorce is simple or complex, no divorce is easy. An experienced attorney can assist you in understanding the long-term impact your decisions may have. Collectively, our team brings a century of legal experience to your family law matter. Call our family law team at 336-379-1390 to schedule your consultation today.

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