Understanding the Nature of Alienation of Affection Lawsuits

A divorce lawyer in Alameda County, CA, like from Bernie Kempen & Company, can represent you during divorce proceedings and protect your best interests from start to finish. We also handle cases related to domestic relationship conflicts, including third-party civil tort claims. This includes alienation of affection lawsuits which are often referred to as homewrecker lawsuits. In essence, this type of lawsuit is filed by a spouse against a third-party who they identify as being the person responsible for “stealing” their husband or wife. The third party may also be blamed for the marriage’s failure due to any number of other reasons: they interfered in some way that was catastrophic to the health of the marriage. In this way, the third-party might be a relative, friend, employer, therapist, or clergy member. There are some states in America that continue to permit such litigation. A family lawyer can review your case to determine if it meets the Court’s eligibility criteria.

Eligibility for Filing an Alienation of Affection Lawsuit

As mentioned, a family lawyer can review your case to determine if it has merit, but here is a general overview of the proof you will need to submit to the Court:

  • You and your spouse were at one time happily married, affectionate, and loving.
  • At some point, the affection and love you shared were destroyed and as a result, you and your spouse were alienated from one another. (It is not a prerequisite that your spouse engaged in extramarital sex, you simply must prove that the third-party’s conduct had a direct bearing on ending your marriage.)
  • The destruction and alienation were caused by a third-party.
  • As the spouse in a sabotaged marriage, you were damaged as a result of the third-party’s actions.

Seeking the Recovery of Damages from Alienation of Affection

Should you win an alienation of affection lawsuit with the assistance of a family lawyer, the Judge or jury may award you compensation for your damages. Depending on your circumstances and past events, your damages might include any of the following:

  • Loss of consortium, also known as loss of fellowship and affection from your spouse.
  • Humiliation.
  • Mental anguish. 
  • Health issues.
  • Loss of financial support.
  • Punitive damages.

Your Legal Options

If your marriage is not salvageable, you have several legal options that you can consider with the assistance of a family lawyer. For some, filing for divorce or a legal separation is sufficient. For others who are residents in states that still permit alienation of affection lawsuits, you also have the choice to pursue litigation in addition to terminating your marriage. After a review of your case, a family lawyer can provide the guidance you need to make informed decisions about your subsequent legal actions.

If you would like to discuss your legal options, call a law firm today to schedule a consultation with an experienced family lawyer.