Our lawyers at Morrow Porter Vermitsky & Taylor, PLLC have many years of experience both defending and prosecuting alienation of affections and criminal conversation cases. One of our partners, John Vermitsky, has written and lectured extensively on this topic and regularly receives referrals to handle these matters by excellent attorneys all over the State of North Carolina. We have handled many six- and seven-figure alienation of affections and criminal conversation actions, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. These cases are unique, making it important to select an experienced attorney to help you maximize your chances at trial.
In simple “non-legal” terms, alienation of affections is a civil claim that is brought when some third-party wrongfully interferes in a loving marriage causing the destruction or diminishment of the marriage itself. While these wrongful acts often include adultery or improper sexual conduct that occurs before the parties separate, it can also include non-sexual acts such as when a friend, family or co-worker wrongfully tries to convince a husband or wife to leave their partner.
Alienation of affections claims are extremely serious. The law permits recovery for the economic harm to the spouse, attorney’s fees, damages for humiliation and embarrassment and even punitive damages. Despite this, there are a number of defenses available for someone sued for alienation of affections, including a claim that the impacted marriage was not a loving one, connivance (being set up) or condonation (forgiveness).
Unlike alienation of affections, criminal conversation does not require the destruction of a marriage or the diminishment of loving feelings between spouses. “Criminal Conversation” is a euphemism or legal term for adultery or sex by a third-party with a person’s husband or wife prior to their separation from their spouse. Much like alienation of affections, criminal conversation is a very serious claim often leading to significant recoveries. The adultery can be proved either through direct evidence (such as a private investigator or an admission) or through circumstantial evidence (proof that a party was alone with a spouse and had a desire or inclination to have illicit sexual relations with that person).
Regardless of your situation, a potential claim for alienation of affections or criminal conversation is a serious matter that requires an experienced lawyer to help evaluate your situation. To best discuss your options for these claims, make an appointment to meet with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.