Minimum Contact for Alienation of Affection

Unbeknown to me, my ex-wife and her out of state sister had been in VERY frequent and lengthy phone conversations prior to our separation. I was without any knowledge of my ex-wife’s preparation of separation papers and thought our 28 year marriage was without problems. Our friends were all shocked, thinking we were the last couple they’d ever see separate and divorce.

After the separation, these phone conversations continued. We attended marriage counseling, and immediately following after every session, was a lengthy phone call to the sister. Next meeting, any progress that seemed to have been made, was gone. Without knowing about the extent of the phone conversations, even the counselor made a statement that the sister was the major road block to any reconciliation.

  1. If it can be shown the sister was actively involved in the alienation of affection, does North Carolina have personal jurisdiction based on the amount and timing of the phone conversations? I have the phone records.

  2. The out of state sister is registered with the NC Bar. Does that fact alone allow there to be personal jurisdiction?

  3. The ex-wife had retained separate counsel in NC. Would all of the conversation between ex-wife and sister be privileged?

If the sister placed calls to your wife, that is enough for this state to have jurisdiction. If your wife was discussing the marriage in the context of obtaining legal advice, the conversations are privileged. Your wife’s retention of a new lawyer does not lift the protection of privilege.