Can I sue the other woman for destroying my marriage?
Going through a spouse’s infidelity is never pleasant, and many people turn to the law to seek justice in these cases. If your partner has cheated on you with another woman, you may be wondering whether or not you can sue her for her actions. This type of lawsuit was far more common in historic times, but some regions still allow you to sue someone for engaging in an affair with your partner. Keep reading to find out if you can sue the other woman for breaking up your marriage.
Which States Allow You to Sue the Other Woman?
Though you might have heard a lot about lawsuits involving suing the other woman, keep in mind that they are a little more rare than you might think. The majority of the states in the United States have struck down laws that allowed people to sue a person who stole their spouse. There are currently only seven states that still allow these sorts of cases to proceed in court. If you live in Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota or Utah, you still have the chance to make the partner in your spouse’s affair pay.
The type of lawsuit you can file will depend on which of the states you live in. In some regions, spouses can file for an “alienation of affection” suit. This is the most commonly known type of suit due to high profile cases like the one that involved a North Carolina woman winning 9 million dollars.However, there is another type of civil tort claim that you may be eligible to file in certain states. This is called a “criminal conversation” suit, and it may result in slightly higher damages paid. You will probably need to talk to a lawyer to find out which option is best for you.
How Do You Use a Criminal Conversation Case to Sue Someone?
The name might imply that this is a sort of criminal case, but criminal conversation is actually a matter brought up in civil courts. This means you cannot try to get the other woman jailed for her actions. However, if you win this type of case, the defendant may be required to pay you damages. Damages may include money to compensate you for your loss of marital affection, money to compensate for mental pain and suffering, and compensation for the loss of spousal support. In many states, the defendant may also have to pay punitive damages which are essentially just extra fines meant to punish them for their behavior.
A criminal conversation suit primarily revolves around proving that the defendant did in fact commit adultery with your spouse. In order to win this sort of lawsuit, you will need to have plenty of proof. Requirements can vary from state to state, but most locations will require you to meet these criteria:
- Show you were legally married to your spouse during the event.
- Prove that your spouse and the other woman actually had sexual intercourse.
- File the lawsuit within the statute of limitations. This will change depending on state, but you generally need to file the suit within three years of the adultery.
- Prove that you did not give consent for your spouse to engage in extramarital sexual contact with others.
- Show that you were not separated when the act occurred.
What Are the Requirements for Proving Alienation of Affection?
Even if you cannot file a criminal conversation case, you may be able to sue the other woman with an alienation of affection case. Alienation of affection suits can be filed against anyone who might be responsible for a breakup, and you do not necessarily need to prove that the people involved were having actual sexual intercourse. Depending on the state you live in, alienation of affection suits can result in very high amounts of damages being reward to you.
Precise rules can vary depending on which location you live in, but most states generally require you to prove that:
- You were in a happy and loving marriage with your spouse prior to the event.
- You are no longer in a loving and affectionate relationship with your spouse.
- The defendant intentionally and maliciously did something to alienate you from your spouse.
- You were damaged by the defendant’s behavior.
What Should You Do If You Want to Sue the Other Woman?
If you are interested in suing the other woman, you should start by making sure you meet all of the requirements, such as being legally married to the spouse and being within the statute of limitations. Keep in mind that a lot of details about your relationship and the affair will come out, so be prepared to air a lot of personal information in court.
Depending on your situation, it may be helpful to get in touch with a private investigator who can find proof of the cheating. This sort of case is somewhat rare and involves older laws, so it is necessary to get a talented attorney who has a lot of experience with the laws in your specific state. Having professional help will make it easier to navigate all the complexities of these unusual cases. Depending on your location and your unique situation, you may possibly be able to get a substantial amount of money by suing the other woman who ruined your marriage.