Alienation of Affection

What kind of proof are judges looking for in lawsuits like this? Are most thrown out. Are dollar figures always awarded to plaintiff?

To sue for alienation of affection you will need to prove (the burden of proof is on you):

You and your husband happily married and a genuine love and affection existed between you;
The paramour’s actions were a contributing factor that caused the alienation of affections of the marriage;
The paramour was aware that her actions would likely cause the your husband’s affection for your to be alienated.

To be awarded compensatory damages it must be proven that the paramour’s conduct proximately resulted in the loss of services in the home, loss of support, including present and future earnings the offending spouse, loss of consortium (sexual relations),emotional distress and/or injury to the aggrieved spouse’s reputation. Compensatory damages may also include the costs of litigation, including attorney’s fees for both the Alienation or Criminal conversation action.

These cases are complicated, and end with a jury trial. I strongly recommend you retain a lawyer if you pursue such a claim.

I was more speaking to me being served w/ a lawsuit. I talked to someone on the phone before they separated (good family friend) and now the wife wants to make it into something more. The only thing she has is phone records of us talking before they separated (which she was aware we talked occasionally). He took care of my son a couple times when I traveled for work (before and after he separated) and once he spent the night at the house b/c he was helping put together a bike all night for my sons birthday (again after separation). The wife knows he spent the night and is trying to turn it into he was having an affair. I really do not want to be dragged into this at all.

I see. Defending such lawsuits, and bringing them, can be very expensive. If you are being threatened with an a of a lawsuit, I suggest you seek legal counsel immediately. Unfortunately, you do not have to engage in actual sex to be found guilty. An action for alienation of affection does not require proof of extramarital sex. To succeed on an alienation claim, the plaintiff has to show that (1) the marriage entailed love between the spouses in some degree; (2) the spousal love was alienated and destroyed; and (3) defendant’s malicious conduct contributed to or caused the loss of affection.

It is not necessary to show that the defendant set out to destroy the marital relationship, but only that he or she intentionally engaged in acts which would foreseeably impact on the marriage. Thus, defendant has a defense against an alienation claim — but not to a claim for criminal conversation — where it can be shown that defendant did not know that the object of his or her affections was in fact married. As with a criminal conversation action, it is not a defense that the non-innocent spouse consented to defendant’s conduct. But it might be a defense that the defendant was not the active and aggressive seducer. If defendant’s conduct was somehow inadvertent, the plaintiff would be unable to show intentional or malicious action. But prior marital problems do not establish a defense unless such unhappiness had reached a level of negating love between the spouses. I hope that this helps to give you an idea of what needs to be proven in such cases, and what defenses you may have.