Do I have any exposure to an alienation of affection/CC suit


#1

A friend of mine has been having some trouble with her husband (I am male). We have been texting and talking, and the husband just got the bill and he is really mad at the amount of talking and texting that we have been doing. It has been a decent amount… It is all G & PG, and there is a lot of legitimate work related conversation in there (we don’t work together but similar line of work), but a little bit of flirting type talk, spouse bashing, and all the fun things to talk about :slight_smile: No R rated talk, no sexting or pictures or anything like that, and we have never gotten together alone or been alone, and there has been absolutely NO physical contact and no talk of a relationship. I did go there to help fix their washing machine one time when the husband was not there, but there were several people present including in laws, kids, etc…

So I think I am safe, but there may be other things going on in their marriage and if it breaks up and he decides to be vengeful, do I have any exposure to a suit? Well I suppose anyone can bring suit at anytime for anything, but do I have any chancing of being successfully sued for alienation of affection/criminal conversion?

Thanks!

RH


#2

He can always try.

Your situation is nearly identical to mine except that we never talked about spouses (mostly about work, and usually talked at work rather than over the phone) and he and I did get together in the end, albeit after she asked him for a divorce. Yet still to this day, the ex blames me for the break up and tried to use the threat of AA/CC prosecution as leverage during their separation and divorce.

So, he can always threaten and the possibility is always there that he could try to initiate a lawsuit, however, if the two of you don’t end up together, it’s highly unlikely that anything will come of it. With CC, he’d have to prove inclination and opportunity for sex (basically would have to have proof of a sex act). With AA, it’s a little less clear, and I’m afraid that by engaging in spouse bashing, you could open yourself up to liability there. (One doesn’t necessarily have to be romantically involved for them to get hit with an AA lawsuit. There have been cases of inlaws and even businesses brought into court for encouraging feelings of negativity against another’s spouse. Although nearly never successful, it could cost money just to jump through the hoops.) Just to be safe, I’d not discuss their relationship with her any more and I’d lay off the flirtatious talk.


#3

I may have overstated when I said spouse bashing. Literally only a few sentences of text about my spouse and her spouse.

I am cutting off all comunications. The husband is an acquaintance of mine, not really a friend, and while I may disagree with some of the way he treats his wife and conducts his business I do not want to get into the middle of anything. She is not that good of a friend either, just more than him and easy to talk to. There is zero chance of us ending up together. I think he mostly is just upset. If he is able to somehow download and read the text from the phone company (is that even possible?) he will see that they are mostly harmless, and it will be confirmation that nothing has, is, or was going to happen, and he will see me telling her repeatedly that we need to stop the texting because it is not right and someone’s feelings are going to get hurt.

It is a good lesson for me. Some things are private, but I have made a commitment not to ever send a message or text that I am ashamed or embarrassed to admit I sent (even if the contents themselves are private)

Thanks

RH


#4

If you did not have sex with this woman, no action for criminal conversation lies.
He could sue you for Alienation of Affection, but would have to prove that but for your malicious acts, his marriage would have remained intact.


#5

Ok, no sex so no CC possible.

And if their marriage does break up it has been building for a long time, well before we started chattimg (they were separated once before for about a year before I ever knew them)

I could see where it might be considered that these chats were the straw that broke the camel’s back, but I don’t really think so. So if there is somehow an AA suit then I could show that there was plenty of other stuff before me (and I am sure in parallel with me as well :slight_smile: )

Thanks!

RH


#6

There seems to be some idea out there that if you want to litigate someone for AoA or CC you just file some paperwork and you are on your way. Truthfully you will NEED an attorney to bring these suits to fruition. They are messy and complicated. Attorneys fees will run you into the 10’s of thousands of dollars with an equally astronomical retainer. Emotionally these trials are draining, with your entire life laid out for all the world to see (don’t assume your skeletons won’t come out either).

Additionally, there is no guarantee you will win (even with slam dunk evidence - because it can be subjective) and even if you do get a judgment the chances of you getting a dime out of the paramour can be slim to none. Most people do not own enough assets to make judgment collection even feasible much less easy. So by the end, if you won, you’re emotionally bankrupt, you’ve racked up ridiculous legal fees (which the judgment may never cover), AND you may never see a dime of your judgment.

All the time and money spent in pursuing these claims would be better spent on a vacation, college fund for your kids, therapy, a new car, etc.


#7

Yes, Governor0x, no sex, no CC. That legislation is pretty cut and dried. They’d pretty much have to have photographic evidence or some form of admission. Anything else could be arguably insufficient, although it sounds like you are free and clear of any such possibility.

As for the AA, yes, them being in counselling prior to any of your involvement would definitely help prove that they were struggling. As EndoftheLine wrote, AA suits are expensive and usually not worth spending all that money. So, the husband might threaten you, but in the end, unless he has a wad of money to put down on a retainer to prosecute such a protracted case and decent financial reserves to draw from, it’s probably just hot air. If you don’t have much money to go after, it’s not uncommon for the plaintiff’s attorney to suggest not prosecuting because it’s just a waste. Given your situation, I doubt many attorneys would be willing to pursue action because there’s simply not enough there of which to make a case.