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Proving alienation of affection after a marriage ends

by | Aug 13, 2020 | Divorce

The end of a marriage is not always welcome by both spouses. There are instances when one spouse did not see it coming or they believe that a third-party caused the spouse to file for divorce in North Carolina. Alienation of affection is a lawsuit that the spouse can file against the third party whom they believe was the cause of the marriage’s dissolution. There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to this lawsuit.

An alienation of affection claim has to be proven in court. This is a tort that relies on harm caused to a person’s dignity or reputation, not a physical injury. The former spouse bringing the lawsuit forward has to prove that there was love in the marriage and that the love was alienated and destroyed. Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was the cause of the marriage’s destruction. In many cases, this tort boils down to proving that an affair caused the marriage to fail.

Keep in mind that the defendant has the right to defend themselves. They can prove that their actions were not intentional and did not seek to destroy the marriage. When the defendant met the spouse, for example, they may not have known they were married. A defendant can also claim that the marriage lost its love before they came into the picture.

This type of lawsuit can only be brought forward after a divorce in a few states as it has been abolished in a majority. North Carolina is one that still allows it. In order to build a solid case, the spouse who is claiming alienation of affection has to be thorough and provide evidence. Otherwise, there could be too many baseless claims. A legal professional with experience in family law may be able to help the plaintiff solidify their case.