Statute of limitations on alienation of affection


#1

I have been involved with a man who has been seperated from his wife since April 2010. He is now divorced. He initially started a platonic friendship with me in 2004. Can his wife sue me for alienation of affection or criminal congress? When does the 3 year statute of limitation begin and end?


#2

Not an Attorney*

For reference, it’s criminal conversation, not criminal congress…

While the two are related and often lumped together, AOA and CC have different requirements of proof.

In the case of CC, if you were having sexual intimacy anytime before he was divorced, regardless of whether he was separated, then that’s criminal conversation, and his ex-wife could sue you if she has proof. Statute of limitations is three years from the last act, so I believe it would be 3 years from the last time you had relations prior to his divorce.

In the case of AOA, you could be found guilty of such since it could be argued that your platonic relationship led to the dissolution of his marriage…Since that dissolution occurred on April 2010, then the three years starts from there I believe. Or at least she could argue that they were reconciling up to that point and your continued friendship caused the separation.

CC is more straight forward to prove as all that has to occur is proof of sexual intimacy. AOA would be far more difficult to prove as she would have to show that the marriage was on solid ground before your platonic relationship ruined it. Both are expensive suits to litigate, so unless you have something worth being sued over, It’s not likely she’ll pursue either.

However, the best course of action is just don’t have affairs and meddle in other people’s families.


#3

For an action for criminal conversation, an act of sexual intercourse, not simply intimacy must be proven. The statute of limitions runs from the last act.

The statue of limitations for alienation of affection starts running when the affections have been alienated. This time is determined on a case by case basis, but an action must be filed within 3 years of the date of separation.


#4

[quote=“Kathleen Putiri”]For an action for criminal conversation, an act of sexual intercourse, not simply intimacy must be proven. The statute of limitions runs from the last act.

The statue of limitations for alienation of affection starts running when the affections have been alienated. The affections haven’t been alienated until the divorce is final.[/quote]

Kathleen, in the case of AOA, I’d ask that question before and got a slightly different answer, hence my post above. Could you clarify?

In my case, I found out about an affair in Dec '09, tried to reconcile for a year only to find confirmation in Dec '10 that affair was going on as strong as ever (photo and e-mail evidence). We separated then but didn’t pursue divorce until now, as I was still hoping for reconciliation. Affair is still ongoing (as of November 2012 anyway).

Assuming we complete the divorce by say June of 2013, which date does the statute of AOA start its 3 year counter? I posed this ? two years ago (was separated then) and was told from Dec '09.

Does the 3 years start from?

Dec '09 (3 years at Dec '12) - Original affair discovered
Dec '10 (3 years at Dec '13) - Affair still ongoing and physically separated
Nov '12 (3 years at Nov '15) - Affair still ongoing, starting divorce proceedings
June '13 (3 years at June '16) - Divorce final (assuming)

I’m a bit surprised it is at the final divorce date, as the Alienation obviously started much sooner (at least at original separation date).


#5

Thank you for bringing my error to my attention. I was posting late that night, and I misspoke. It should be from the date of separation not the date of divorce. I have revised my answer to be more clear.