Alienation Of Affection: Can Your Spouse Sue Over An Affair?

December 10th, 2009

gavelIt’s a law that is only recognized in seven states, but it may cause unhappily married couples to think twice before engaging in an affair. A person who suffers from the pain of an unfaithful husband or wife may be eligible to file an “Alienation Of Affection” lawsuit – against their spouse’s lover.

This concept has recently received new attention due to some well-publicized scandals, most notably the Tiger Woods saga. The number of women who claim to have had an affair with Tiger seems to grow daily, and if any of these trysts occurred in Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina or Utah, then Tiger’s wife, Elin Nordegren, could file a lawsuit.

Alienation Of Affection suits can be very costly. Several cases have resulted in a spurned spouse being awarded more than $1 million. These cases don’t usually make it to trial, however. They tend to be settled out of court by people who are very interested in protecting their own privacy – and the privacy of their new partner.

Tiger Woods could be deeply impacted by this. When the dust finally settles on his scandal, people will take a long look at all of the women he may have been involved with. If any of these encounters involved a married woman in a state that allows Alienation Of Affection lawsuits, the husband may be eligible to sue Tiger.

People who favor this law hope it will encourage spouses to always respect their marital vows. Even an unhappy partner with a wandering eye may reconsider if they think the end result might be a major lawsuit. It could also discourage people who are interested in a married man or woman from acting on the impulse. Potential cheaters may be persuaded not to approach someone’s spouse if they fear it will end in court.

In some situations the “third party” may not be a willing participant to infidelity. Cheating spouses might not tell a new love interest that they happen to be married, especially if they live in one of the previously mentioned states. So what can you do if you’re not sure whether or not someone new is married?

Jump to a great new service called Are They Really Single. It’s a website that can help you find out if any person is single, or if they’ve already said their wedding vows. The site can help you protect yourself from becoming the “other person”, and if you live in a state that allows Alienation Of Affection cases, it could also help you avoid a nasty lawsuit.

Proponents in several states are pushing to adopt Alienation Of Affection policies. As public attention focuses more on celebrity affairs like Tiger Woods and Jamie Grubbs, lawmakers may decide it’s time for a closer review of this subject. You can read more about the Tiger Woods scandal here, and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.

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One Response to “Alienation Of Affection: Can Your Spouse Sue Over An Affair?”

  1. Ashley Milici says:

    For an extended time, Tiger Woods was one of my heroes. He epitomized brilliance. Okay, I’m not fantastic, however when a heroic public figure is found to be so ruined, it will take the hero out of heroism. Almost all one has left is “-ism” — idiot, foolish, moron. Is he an amazing golfer? Without a doubt he is. In all probability he will always be viewed as one of the best of them all.

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