I’m sick of alienation of affection lawsuits. Who’s with me?

I’m sick of this one, which ironically was filed by a former Miss. Supreme Court Justice (McRae) who advocated abolishing the cause of action while he was on the Court. I’m sick of this one, which is just getting started. I’m sick of the one involving my old law firm that recently was the subject of a Supreme Court decision. I’m sick of the entire cause of action.

Here are just a few of the problems that I have with the cause of action:

  • fault—in an alienation of affections lawsuit, fault is placed on the third-person involved in the affair instead of the cheating spouse. But it was the cheating spouse who broke a vow.
  • causation—who can really say that the “alienation of affection” is what caused the marriage’s demise? Anyone who has ever been married knows that marriages are extremely complicated.
  • damages—as pointed out by Justice Dickinson in a concurring opinion in Fitch v. Valentine, there are no standards for compensating the plaintiff.
  • quasi-extortion—there is a quasi-extortion element to the cause of action. I’ve heard that many alienation of affection claims settle before suit is filed in order to keep the allegations out of the public record. Once suit is actually filed, the case is likely to go to trial because the plaintiff has shot his/ her biggest bullet. Compare that to the rest of the civil justice system where cases are rarely settled before suit is filed, but most do settle after suit is filed.
  • resolution—I do not believe that an alienation of affection case promotes the orderly resolution of the acrimony between the individuals involved. In fact, I think that it does the opposite.
  • 42 states do not recognize the cause of action. That fact standing alone does not make the action bad, but it does suggest problems.
  • the danger of entrapment—an enterprising couple who are grifters could set up an alienation of affection lawsuit and then share in the proceeds. A new couple moves to town. The wife is seen around town flirting with doctors and other wealthy men. This leads to a notorious affair followed by an alienation of affection lawsuit by the woman’s husband. In the lawsuit, the woman testifies that the affair did alienate her affection from her husband and destroyed their marriage. After a big settlement the couple then moves to North Carolina or another state that recognizes the action and starts the whole scam over. This is not that far-fetched to me. In fact, I would be surprised if there has never been collusion in an alienation of affection lawsuit.

In summary, it’s a bad cause of action that should be abolished.

  • Michael Cory

    What is most absurd is that you can often recover more money for your spouse sleeping around on you than you can for a serious injury or death caused by medical negligence.

  • You mean with ALL THE IMPORTANT things that courts have to litigate these days, time is wasted with crap like this?!?!?
    There oughta be a law!!

  • Pam

    Well I think it should be a law everywhere. I am tired of women that sleep with married men, and yes they are both at fault, but where is that womens morals for other women? I think these kind of women should have concequences. Also there should be more laws for cheating mates. This is not what our world is suppose to be like. Always looking over our bakes because of women like that!

  • Tonya Wells

    I am commenting on your “im sick of” term. I am sick of people knowingly intruding on another persons marraige. I am not easing the blame on the spouse but if the other party is well aware of the marital status back off on taking part in destroying th vows. If the spouse is not happy he should have left not had an affair both parties are guilty and should have to pay or do jail time and maybe divorce rate would go down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • R Craft

    im “sick of” families being destroyed due to adults sleeping from person to person like a bunch of animals in heat, children’s lives and homes are destroyed due to this behavior, both parties at fault should suffer severe consequences and alimony and child support is nowhere near severe enough- these women who like jumping in bed with married men should have to pay a price, and jail time wouldn’t hurt either, since in mississippi you can press criminal charges for adultery, if this happened to some of these immoral women maybe the divorce rate would go down and we wouldn’t have so many disturbed children coming from broken homes-parents are supposed to stay together

  • Kim

    Those defending AOA aren’t putting responsibility on cheating spouse. Cheaters are always looking to cheat. AOA just gives the cheater a means to cheat their spouse out of settlement.

    Cheaters are smart enough to mislead their spouse & point them in direction of AOA to avoid paying settlement, attorney fees, child support, & to protect their lover or string of lovers.

    Lawyers jump on AOA fast! They will extort anyone they think would pay up.

    In my case, the cheating husband targeted me because I looked like his girlfriend, & we both from Madison. We did date briefly. I was lead to believe he was divorced. Later found out his divorce not final & requested copy of divorcee papers.

    Months later, I’m sued for AOA. The cheating husband weaved story so his wife suspected I was cause of divorce instead of the girlfriend.

    The wife’s lawyer sued me premature; however, & when they realized I wasn’t the right woman, things got very bizarre.

    Over past several years their divorce settlement has centered around getting money from me. The girlfriend isn’t worth going after.

    The husband’s extortion threats have become progressively dangerous to point restraining order was necessary.

    The cheating husband wants me to pay his divorce settlement while he moved on with his girlfriend. His wife & attorney focus on me because they think they’ve hit jackpot although they know I’m not the right person.

    His wife admitted he pushed her into the AOA lawsuit for settlement to take focus off him. But he influences her lawyer to focus on me for their divorce settlement & attorney fees instead of him.

    Although I’m innocent, it’s been hell to fight. AOA sets up abuse of process. It’s a tort for sinners not christians.