Can I sue for criminal conversation after the divorce has been finalised, as long as it is within the three year statute of limitations beginning on the date of separation
Yes you can. However, the statute of limitations starts running from the date of the last act of criminal conversation. Therefore if it was committed prior to the date of separation, the clock starts running from that date as opposed to the date of separation.
NOT AN ATTORNEY
It is still continuing. Husband moved out July 12, 2011. I found out about their ongoing relationship July 13. This shows intent and opportunity - am I right? (please point out where I may have misunderstood). There has been an on-going sexual relAtionship between the two since the day after he left me. So, date of last criminal conversation would be literally up until the day our divorce is finalised? (sometime in Sept or Oct 2012). Is this correct?
[quote][i] N.C.G.S. 52-13:
(a) No act of the Defendant shall give rise to a cause of action for alienation of affection or criminal
conversation that occurs after the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s spouse physically separate with the
intent of either the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s spouse that the physical separation remain permanent.
(b) An action for alienation of affection or criminal conversation shall not be commenced more than three years from the last act of the defendant giving rise to the cause of action. (c) A person may commence a cause of action for alienation of affection or criminal conversation against a natural person only.[/i][/quote]
So what this means is that you cannot sue for anything that happened after the date of separation, and the clock starts running as of the date of last occurrence prior to the date of separation. You may have an argument lengthening the time on the clock due to not discovering the relationship until 7/13/2011.
You’d have to prove that sex acts occurred between the two prior to the date of separation. You can argue inclination and opportunity, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that sexual contact occurred. The only real certainty is if you have either an admission of guilt in written or recorded form, or photos of or witnesses to the act(s).
Before engaging in such a suit, does the paramour have assets of an amount that would adequately offset the amount that it would cost you to pursue this all the way to trial? If not, it’s probably not worth doing. These cases are often lengthy and costly due to the amount of paperwork and depositions. At $200-$500/hour for an attorney, it gets expensive fast. Attorneys virtually never take these cases without a sizable retainer.
Awards can vary greatly depending upon the number, nature, and circumstances of the act(s) as well as the defendant’s ability to pay. Awards as low as a couple of hundred dollars have been given, and as high as hundreds of thousands for CC (AA awards tend to be higher than CC, sometimes in the millions). The awards fall into two groups: punitive and compensatory. Compensatory damages are for things like psychiatry treatment for (and already paid by) the injured party.