- Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation in NC
contain many of the same facts. Either party has the right to a jury trial in these cases although some parties choose to waive that right and have the issues heard by a judge.
- Record High Verdicts in North Carolina
Greenville family law attorney, Cynthia Mills, won a $5.9 million verdict for her client in a Pitt County, North Carolina 2010 Alienation of Affection lawsuit.
- What is Alienation of Affection?
Alienation of Affection lawsuits are civil legal actions seeking monetary damages from the other spouse’s boyfriend or girlfriend that alleges his or her responsibility for harm to the marital relationship. To make the claim, it must be established that the marriage was intact at the time the alienation occurred.
- Proving Alienation of Affection Claims
The plaintiff in an Alienation of Affection case should establish ample evidence that the marriage was good before the defendant came into the picture and alienated the affections of the other spouse. This can include cards and gifts given to the plaintiff by their spouse during the marriage, romantic trips and vacations the spouses took together, wedding photographs depicting a happy family and other photographs of holidays and special events, etc.
The plaintiff will also need a clear timeline of when his or her spouse began to “lose interest” in the marriage as well as evidence to prove the relationship that existed with the defendant. Both can be shown through telephone records and credit card receipts among other things, as well as cards and gifts given by the defendant to the other spouse. The best evidence, however, is usually obtained through services of a private investigator. he plaintiff will also need a clear timeline of when his or her spouse began to “lose interest” in the marriage as well as evidence to prove the relationship that existed with the defendant.
- Alienation of Affection Defenses
There are several possible defenses for a defendant who has been sued for alienation of affection. The claim may be dismissed if the lawsuit falls outside the three-year statute of limitations for filing, or the defendant’s conduct occurred after the couple were separated. There are also affirmative defenses which may be pled by the defendant including the claim he or she did not know the spouse was married or the love and affection between the spouses was already gone.
- What is Criminal Conversation?
Criminal Conversation is simply another word for adultery or extramarital sex. Whereas alienation of affection law protects the right to love and affection in a marriage, criminal conversation law protects the right to sexual exclusivity in a marriage. The evidence must prove the adultery occurred before the spouses separated.
- Criminal Conversation Defenses
Some of the defenses against alienation of affection are not available to the defendant for criminal conversation. The defendant cannot claim he or she did not know about the marriage or that the marriage was already in trouble.