North Carolina is one of the few states that still recognizes the claims of alienation of affection and criminal conversation. Alienation of affection and criminal conversation are claims against someone who engages in a relationship with a married person that breaks up the marriage.
Alienation of Affection
Alienation of affection requires:
- The spouses are happily married with genuine love and affection existing between them;
- The love and affection being alienated and destroyed; and
- This alienation being caused by the wrongful and malicious acts of the defendant.
It is not necessary to prove that the defendant set out to destroy the marriage, merely showing that the defendant engaged in acts that would foreseeably have an impact on the marriage is enough to prove wrongful and malicious acts.
Criminal conversation is a misleading name for this cause of action, there is no criminal element at all. Rather, criminal conversation requires:
- Actual marriage between two spouses; and
- Sexual intercourse between one spouse and the defendant.
Direct evidence is not necessary to prove that sexual intercourse occurred, circumstantial evidence can be used.
Alienation of affection and criminal conversation can result in a large monetary award from a jury against the defendant, however, if the defendant does not have a lot of money it may not be worth pursuing due to the cost of litigation. However, if your spouse and their paramour are still in a relationship, these claims can be used as leverage in your separation and divorce matter.
If you believe you have a claim against a third party for alienation of affection and criminal conversation you should discuss your options regarding these claims, as well as separation and divorce with an attorney. Contact King Law at 888-748- (5464)KING for a consultation. We have offices located across western North Carolina. King Law is here to serve you and help walk you through your separation and divorce process as well as a potential lawsuit for alienation of affection and criminal conversation.