If you think that nothing can be done when your relationship is broken up by others, think again. Civil law provides those who can show that harm has been done with an avenue for gaining financial payments when things go wrong with romantic relationships. To find out if your situation merits taking personal injury action, read on and find out more about alienation of affection cases.
What is Alienation of Affection?
Known for many years as homewrecker suits, alienation of affection actions stem from situations where the demise of a relationship can be firmly pinned on the actions of one or more individuals. Classically, homewrecker cases involved a married or romantically involved couple who broke up over a third party entering the picture. However, alienation of affection actions are not limited to just the homewrecker. You can take action against anyone you feel took part in the break-up.
Who Are the Defendants?
Not your spouse or partner, regardless of how you feel about them. You can take action against your spouse or partner in family court or other courts, but you cannot sue them for alienation of affection. It's the third, outside party that is the target of these suits instead. They can be the other romantic interest, or they can be others who influenced the outcome. For example, the in-laws who have always been unhappy with their child's choice in a partner might do everything possible to sabotage the marriage and cause a divorce. They can be sued for alienation of affection and so can friends, clergy, and others that took relentless action to cause a rift in the romantic relationship of a couple.
Proving Alienation of Affection
As with all legal cases, proof must be clear, credible, and convincing. Hearsay or strong suspicions of concerted efforts to bring down a relationship are not enough. Here is what must be demonstrated by the plaintiff:
- The marriage or relationship, but for the interference of the defendants, was healthy and happy. No previous major problems existed, no one previously cheated on the relationship, and the couple was happy with each other.
- The actions of a third party brought about a major change for the worse in the relationship.
- The actions of the third party directly caused problems that led to the end of the relationship.
- Because of the actions of the defendant, the plaintiff's life is irreparably altered. They must be able to show the harm done to their emotional health, financial situation, living situation, etc.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer if you suspect a third party can be held financially liable for the breakdown of your relationship.