Alienation of affection - "Get out of jail free"?


Today’s daily email (from Lisa Angel) posed the question “Does an affair mean jail time?”, which prompts me to ask:

My wife and are on the cusp of an amicable separation (to start the one-year-clock) and have agreed that while we’re apart we can “date” (& more) and neither of us will use it against the other; which raises a couple questions:

Should we have this in writing? If so should it be notarized or logged with lawyers? Even if we did that and one party changed their mind would it do any good in court?

Thanks for any clarity.


Yes, a valid contract with notarized signatures which includes that neither Husband nor Wife will seek to use a relationship after the date of separation as corroborating evidence of an affair during the marriage would be acceptable. However, it would not be effective for any claims against third parties.

It is better practice to not starting dating until a separation agreement is executed by both spouses.

Check out our article Dating While Separated for more detailed information on this topic.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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