Heart Balm Actions in North Carolina
In order to protect the sanctity of marriage and the institution of family, North Carolina allows a jilted spouse to bring a lawsuit against a third party who alienates or has sex with your spouse.
Alienation of AffectionIn North Carolina, a suit may be brought against a third party that alienates your relationship with your spouse. This tort has three requirements: 1. Genuine love and affection between spouses who are validly married, 2. That the existing love and affection was alienated and destroyed, AND 3. The defendant's wrongful and malicious acts caused the loss of love and affection. Alienation of affection does not require adultery or cheating. Instead, an action may be brought against anyone who has alienated or destroyed the married spouses' love and affection for each other. Although this is most common in circumstances of infidelity, a spouse's parent, friend, sibling, or co-worker may also be liable if they caused the alienation. The person who caused the alienation between you and your spouse may be liable to you for monetary damages.
Criminal ConversationNorth Carolina also allows actions to be brought against a person who has sex with your spouse. This tort has three requirements: 1. An actual legal marriage between the plaintiff and the allegedly adulterous spouse, 2. Sexual intercourse between that adulterous spouse and the defendant during the legal marriage, AND 3. The sexual intercourse must occur before the date of separation of the married persons. While similar to Alienation of Affection, Criminal Conversation does require adultery. As with Alienation of Affection, Criminal Conversation only involves pre-separation conduct. Sexual acts that occur between another person and your spouse after you have separated may not give rise to a cause of action.