Criminal Conversation

This is from the home site:

"Criminal Conversation
Criminal conversation is the name for a civil lawsuit sounding in tort (a kind of injury to the person) based on sexual intercourse between the defendant and the plaintiff

As long as he is legally married and not divorced and she can prove one instance of sexual intercourse (or heavily imply it by living together or his own admission), she can sue you for CC and win. Pretty much the only defense to this is if she had set it up in advance for you to have sex with her husband.

However, bringing forth such an action in court with all the court costs can easily run her attorney bills up to 10k (as well as yours) by stepping through all the processes from discovery to an actual court appearance.

What would most likely affect the award for CC (I’m leaving out Alienation of Affection issues here), is whether or not you two had known each other or were romantically involved before the date of his intended separation and whether or not you initiated or pursued the relationship with the intent of breaking up his marriage. Although they are not factors to prove the case, they affect the view of those deciding the award. If you had done either of these, then punitive damages could be attached. Awards for Criminal Conversation tend to be lower than for Alienation of Affection, and can range from a few dollars to tens of thousands. From what an attorney said to me, they are typically around a few thousand.

For straight-ahead CC prosecutions, I can’t tell you, but somewhere on this site, right around 200 cases of AA & CC are taken to court in this state each year. Most of the cases are usually settled out of court.

On a side note, there is a bill, Senate Bill 1503, to abolish AA & CC actions. It is currently in the Judiciary Committee. If you dislike these actions being brought in court (or if you want to affirm), feel free to contact members of that committee and/or your state senator.

Number one, she can’t contest a divorce. If the year and 1 day have been met, then a divorce can be filed. Now, I’m not sure how the deployment days plays in that number.

Number 2, she can sue you for CC. Now IF she actually does is another issue. It IS expensive to be the Plaintiff so she’ll have to come up with some money in order to get the suit started. If she does, then you will have to hire an attorney to represent you. This doesn’t mean you go directly to court…it is and can be a long process form service of papers to court.

She may just be blowing smoke–and she may not be. But I believe living together shows opportunity and gives the appearance of a sexually orientated relationship–not just ‘roommates’.

For criminal conversation intent is irrelevant, if you had a sexual relationship with him while he was still married(even after he separated) she can sue for criminal conversation. Unfortunately, by moving in together you have given her all the circumstantial evidence she needs to prove this, she does not have to prove that you actually had sex, only that you had the inclination and opportunity to do so.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
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Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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I’ve been reading many postings on this site about criminal conversation but I haven’t read anything that directly applies to my situation.

I have been divorced for almost a year now (separated for 2 years prior to that) and have been dating someone for about 7 months. This individual has been separated from his wife since April 2006 when he was deployed overseas. (I met him when he was home on leave.) He did not have a legal separation agreement in place and hadn’t filed for divorce because of the complications of filing from Iraq. He has since come back from overseas and has moved in with me and has filed for divorce from his wife. She has indicated to him that she will be contesting the divorce and filing a criminal conversation suit against me. I would not consider our relationship infidelity. He, in no way, left his marriage to be with me.

How much evidence does she have to have to prove her case? I realize that she has to prove that sexual intercourse took place, but how does she prove that without physical evidence? Is the fact that he is living with me sufficient proof of sexual intercourse?

How many criminal conversation cases are won by plantiff’s each year? What is the average cost involved to the plantiff and the defendant? Does the degree of egregiousness affect the judgement awarded to the plantiff?