Family law covers a variety of complex, emotionally straining topics. Even among these sensitive issues, cases involving third parties who have interfered in a marriage stand out as particularly contentious and dramatic. Fortunately, a Marvin, NC alienation of affection attorney can help you seek recourse in these situations.
North Carolina stands as one of the few states in the union that permits legal claims against third parties who have damaged or undermined a marriage. Understanding this unique facet of North Carolina marital law is crucial for anyone facing its implications from either side.
When divorce proceedings in Marvin, NC, are impacted due to the actions of someone who isn’t party to the marriage, representation from Lehnhardt Price Family Law can offer powerful legal solutions while also providing a buffer between yourself and the stress of these proceedings. This allows you to focus on healing, knowing that these complicated elements of your divorce are being handled by a qualified family law team with a record of great results.
In North Carolina, two distinct but closely related legal claims can arise from acts of marital infidelity:
While alienation of affection cases focus on emotional damages and do not require any physical infidelity to have taken place, criminal conversation suits are more concerned with specific sexual acts that represent a betrayal of marriage bonds. Ironically, an alienation of affection case could revolve around conversations that a spouse had with a third party, while criminal conversation claims require an element of sexual intercourse.
Some people in Marvin, NC don’t understand why an individual would pursue these claims at all, as they can dredge up hurtful emotions and even necessitate bringing embarrassing information to court. Divorce is already understandably very taxing for most people who go through it, and when an external party contributes to the end of the relationship, the pain is often felt even more deeply.
While it can be hard to put a dollar amount on these sorts of damages, judgments and settlements can be significant, with awards in the tens of thousands not uncommon. A landmark 2018 North Carolina alienation of affection case even saw an incredible $8.8 million awarded to a wronged ex-spouse.
The upsides to pursuing civil claims for these offenses usually outweigh any trepidations significantly. Consider:
A: In North Carolina, the grounds for successfully proving an alienation of affection claim revolve around three major components:
Because there are both alienation of affection and criminal conversation laws in North Carolina, proving these factors does not necessarily need to hinge on evidence of a physical relationship. It can be based on any third-party actions that can be demonstrated to have disrupted marital harmony in a serious and deliberate way.
A: The total cost of suing for alienation of affection, criminal conversation, or any other civil matter in a North Carolina court can vary quite a bit depending on a breadth of factors, such as:
Many family law attorneys charge an hourly rate, though some firms may be willing to take cases that are likely to end in a lucrative settlement on a contingency, or percentage, basis. This means that the attorney is paid out from the settlement after the case is successful, and the client pays no upfront fees.
Concerning the court costs involved, the initial filing fee for your claim will be $402, which includes the requisite administration fee. Note that certifying additional documents for filing with your case can result in additional charges. These filing fees paid to the local court system are separate from any fees paid to your attorney for legal representation.
A: Yes, North Carolina is one of the few states that still has laws allowing someone going through a divorce to sue a third party for alienation of affection. These sorts of claims target individuals who have worked to undermine or destroy a once-loving marriage. Whether they are a secret mistress, a jealous friend, or even nightmare in-laws, if they have acted maliciously to intervene in your marriage, and deliberately damaged the love you and your spouse once had for one another, they can be sued.
A: There are three basic tenets to a viable alienation of affection claim (and the criteria for criminal conversation are comparable). These crucial elements are:
There is some room for subjectivity and nuance in these criteria, so it’s important to work with a well-qualified family law attorney who can help you develop and implement a sound legal strategy. Lehnhardt Price Family Law is proud to offer the people of Marvin, NC, and the surrounding areas high-caliber legal services of exactly this sort.
If you are involved in a criminal conversation or alienation of affection case and need powerful legal assistance to help guide matters to a positive outcome, please reach out today to set up a no-pressure consultation with the attorneys at Lehnhardt Price Family Law. No matter what your individual role in the case might be, our empathetic and knowledgeable family law team has the tools and knowledge to guide you through the legal process to come.