Calling all lawyers: Alienation of affection
September 3, 2008 2:09 PM Subscribe
How common are judgements for alienation of affection? How can someone best thwart this civil action?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (8 answers total)
For ten years my brother, who is married with four children, has been seeing another woman. His plan was to leave his wife and be with her when his youngest got a little bit older. His marriage is moribund, but there was never any talk of divorce. He and his wife have essentially lived as rommates. His job and girlfriend are in another town, so he has been able to spend time significant time with her. Besides, the girlfriend is a highly paid professional and works very long hours, so she couldn't spend much more time with him even if they were officially together.
Recently, my brother's affair was uncovered and he is now separated from his wife, and still seeing his girlfriend. When he approached his wife with a plan for an amicable divorce, she essentially accepted the terms, but said that if she discovered that he was seeing the other woman, or if they moved in together she would sue for alienation of affection. (They live in a state where this is still on the books.)
Both my brother and his girlfriend have money, so the financial incentive and means to sue are there. My questions are: How seriously should he take such a threat? How likely is such a suit to succeed? What kinds of things would have to be established for his wife to win a judgement? How can he take steps to ensure that this doesn't happen, especially since he plans to be with his girlfriend?