The statute of limitations runs 3 years from the date of discovery.
Does anyone know if these types of cases are even worth pursuing. I have heard that most judges don’t like to hear these cases and typically will not award large amounts. I am just trying to determine if this will even be worth my time, money or hassle. Any advice anyone has would be appreciated.
[i]Originally posted by ladyharris[/i] [br]I just recently found out that my husband of seven years has been having an affair for the last three years. His mistress proudly admitted that she knew he was married and has been carrying on a sexual relationship with him. As of now we are seperated (only a couple of weeks) but I have the intention of eventually filing for divorce. I want to know what are the Statue of Limitations in regards to bringing a Criminial Coversation lawsuit against her.
There are a couple of people on the forum who have pursued or been on the defending end of this type of action. They can correct me or add to this.
As someone who was accused of this myself (no, we didn’t have an affair…long story), I sought the advice of an attorney and what I was told was this:
Alienation of Affection (AA) suits generally bring bigger awards if won, Criminal Conversation (CC) suits not so much. Attorneys will often not proceed on a suit past initial discovery, unless there is sufficient income on both sides. (If the defendant can’t pay and the client will have difficulty paying, why go there?)
AA doesn’t require sex, but deals with the nebulous topic of affection. The idea being that someone can steal affection, which is why these awards are higher. It’s more complex an issue because if you had had documented issues in the marriage that predated the meeting and/or communication of the defendant and the ex (e.g. he had moved out before or you both had sought marriage therapy) it becomes much more difficult to say that the defendant was the principal cause of the loss of affection. Regular communication between defendant and the ex doesn’t constitute AA. Business partners may communicate after hours or the two may be friends. (I believe there is case law from the turn of the 20th c. which deals with that.) The communication must’ve been with the main purpose to entice the ex away.
CC is about sex, period. Simple CC suits alone where the defendant and the ex met and slept together during the 1-year waiting period, but not before have even lower awards which don’t cover costs and judges will commonly not make the defendant pay for the plantiffs attorney costs. I think I read of a case somewhere where the award was less than $500.
Having said all that, these suits usually cost $10k or more to the plantiff. The full process of serving, discovery, and all the other BS can take a year or more. From what I understand, the process of discovery (i.e. each side exchanging info to use as defense or evidence) is extremely invasive to both parties. (Are you ready to tell about your sex life, including dates, times, acts performed and frequency and have it become part of court record?)
It seems like I read somewhere that the plantiff will commonly not be able to obtain his/her attorneys fees from the defendant unless the conduct of the defendant was way over the top. Not sure. I do know that the cases don’t go to a jury trial unless the plantiff can make reasonable grounds as to the outrageousness of the defendant’s conduct.
I would like to add that Alienation of Affection does not necessarily even have to be with a person of romantic interest. It can be a friend or even a family member that has influenced the spouse’s affections enough that the offended spouse feels that without this interference the marriage would have happily continued.
From what I have read on this forum of AofA suits, initially an attorney will send a letter of intent to file suit and a settlement amount that will keep the matter out of court. It will depend on the funds that the other person has available and how much evidence is on hand to use if this were to go as far as being heard in court. As athos stated, if neither party have the resources to pursue a large amount, it may not be worth it finacially for you.
I can tell you, from having been on the same end of a physical and emotional betrayal that everything does come back around.
Consult an attorney and get a separation agreement. NC is a no fault state but extramarital affairs can give you a little leverage that you wouldn’t have had otherwise…
You are absolutely right. If nothing else, I take comfort in knowing that he (and she) will reap what they have sown. At this point I need to focus on maintaining my sanity for the sake of my children. There is no way “they” are going to do this and then go on to live out a prosperous life. They will suffer in the long run. I just have to sit back and wait.
The statute of limitations for Criminal Conversation is three years from the date of the last act, or from the date of divorce. The statue of limitations for Alienation of Affection is three years from the date the alienation is complete.
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Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm
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I just recently found out that my husband of seven years has been having an affair for the last three years. His mistress proudly admitted that she knew he was married and has been carrying on a sexual relationship with him. As of now we are seperated (only a couple of weeks) but I have the intention of eventually filing for divorce. I want to know what are the Statue of Limitations in regards to bringing a Criminial Coversation lawsuit against her.