If infidelity has played a major role in your decsion to divorce, you may be wondering if you have a claim for alienation of affection.  

What Is Alienation of Affection? 

Alienation of affection is a claim that a person can file against their spouse’s paramour. It’s not a criminal charge, but it’s a civil lawsuit. This means that, if found liable, the defendant will likely be ordered to financially compensate the plaintiff, but will not go to jail as a result of an alienation of affection claim. Basically, if you file a claim for alienation of affection, you’re suing your spouse’s lover for causing your spouse to leave the relationship, whether legally or otherwise. The legal phrase for this is loss of consortium. That can include a spouse being deprived of marital rights as services, assisstance, and sexual relations. While many people like the idea of filing this claim, claims of alienation of affection are generally rare because they’re so difficult to win. In order to have a valid claim for alienation of affection, you’ll need to be able to prove that your case has all of the elements of alienation of affection. 

The Marriage Was Happy 

To file a claim for alienation of affection, you’ll need to prove that your marriage was happy before the affair began. This alone is generally difficult for people to prove. Usually, there are other issues in a marriage that contribute to the dissolution of the marriage before the affair even began. Though every case is different, people who are happy in their marriages don’t usually cheat. Infidelity normally occurs after problems have already begun in the marriage. Even if your marriage was problem-free, you may not be successful in filing an alienation of affection lawsuit—but more on that later. Proving that the marriage was happy before the affair started is difficult. In fact, it’s generally pretty difficult for people to prove that the affair actually happened in the first place, let alone that the marriage was happy before the affair began. 

The Affection Has Been Alienated 

Plaintiffs also need to prove that the affection has been alienated. In simple terms, the plaintiff needs to prove that they have been deprived of their spouse’s romantic affections. This may be easy to prove, especially if your spouse initiated the divorce process or at least agreed to the divorce process. The divorce itself may be used to help prove that the spouse’s affection has been alienated. While this may be easy to prove, you need to have all the elements of alienation of affection. 

 Though the fact that there’s no affection left in the marriage may be easy to prove, the rest of the elements are more difficult, but they’re still needed in order to have a successful claim. 

There Dissolution of the Marriage Was Caused by the Affair 

Lastly, you’ll need to prove that the alienation of the spouse was caused by the defendant’s conduct alone. There are some people who just like to cheat, even if they’re happy in their marriage. If your spouse cheated for this reason, it would be difficult to sue their paramour for alienation of affection. In order to have a good claim, your spouse cannot have sought out the affair themselves. Even if you can prove that your spouse was not soliciting the affair, you would still need to prove that the affair alone was the reason for the alienation of your spouse’s affection. Most people who are going through a divorce have other problems along with the affair contributed to the dissolution of the marriage and, therefore, they cannot sue for alienation of affection since the marriage was ended due to the affair and other reasons. 

What Proof Do You Need for Alienation of Affection? 

The evidence needed for alienation of affection will vary from case to case. Some elements may be more difficult to prove than others. For example, proving that the defendant repeatedly sought out the affair and your spouse did not is generally pretty difficult. Many plaintiffs also have a difficult time proving that there wasn’t anything wrong with the marriage before the affair began, and that the dissolution of the marriage is due to the defendant’s conduct alone. Since the goal of the lawsuit is financial compensation, there needs to be a source of recovery in order to make filing a lawsuit financially worth it. If the defendant does not have the financial means to pay the judgment or settlement, it may not be worth it to file a claim, even if you have all the proof. 

Can SimpleEnding Handle Alienation of Affection? 

SimpleEnding does not handle alienation of affection claims. However, in most cases, it doesn’t make sense to file a claim for alienation of affection. In fact, most firms do not take alienation of affection cases, and in many cases, it’s not in the plaintiff’s best interests (financially speaking) to file such a case. If infidelity has contributed to your decision to divorce, SimpleEnding is here for you. Our online divorce platform generates attorney quality divorce documents and the best part is that you don’t even have to see your ex. If you’re ready to get started with the divorce process, try SimpleEnding today.