I’m not a lawyer but this may help…
- Yes. These are jury trials (unless they are settled out of court).
- Very few of the cases are filed. About 200 a year out of more than 30,000 divorce proceedings. Reason: It is an extremely expensive suit to bring (think about $15,000… to start) and I know of no attorney which would take it on contingency. Reason: The award judgments vary wildly (a $1 award is not unheard of in these suits). They are also painful… Everybody’s personal life gets exposed in open court.
- You actually posted a message on the boards of a group of them.
- I believe 3 years is the statute-of-limitations on these claims.
- Good. That means that both Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation claims are still possible. Though if the two of you have been living apart for awhile, an actual agreement may not be necessary. It is my understanding that if the two of you separated for reasons not involving the affair than an AOA claim is not possible. DEFINITELY check with a lawyer on that (actually check with a lawyer on all of this but especially this point).
- That depends. If you feel that your relationship was rock solid and this person “stole” your wife away and you have a sizable sum of money not doing a whole lot (or you’re willing to risk a large debt load) and you can deal with the risk in the variance in the award judgments, then proceed with the claim. Personal Note: If you are in fact getting “everything” (i.e. the house, the kids, the car, etc…), you may want to give some serious thought to cutting your losses. Nothing legal in that last statement but I thought it might help (sorry if it didn’t).
- It’s true. The NC House has already pasted a bill abolishing both Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation. The NC Senate is due to take the matter up this session (again). The bill has been kicking around the NC legislature for a few sessions now, but never really gotten anywhere. But since the legislature seems to have decided to avoid “controversial” legislation this term (and abolishing AOA/CC is not considered “controversial”) this ban may have a real shot at going the distance. Who knows though.
I’m sorry about your situation. Personally, I would worry about my kids and myself if I were in your situation. Though I would collect evidence of the affair, since it can be used to prevent her from receiving alimony. Also, I would push hard on her payment of child support.
Hope that helps.