Can I Sue for Alienation of Affection?


If you are filing for divorce in Pasadena because of your spouse's infidelity, you might be wondering if you can sue for alienation of affection. Alienation of affection is a legal way to punish a man or woman who has come between a married couple and in essence "broken" their marriage contract.

If you're feeling hurt and angry about your spouse's infidelity, suing the person involved in the affair probably seems like a wonderful idea. Alienation of affection lawsuits are not possible in most states, however. Currently, they are only allowed in Utah, South Dakota, North Carolina, New Mexico, Mississippi, Illinois and Hawaii. Even then, they are often discouraged because of the cost and time involved in preparing the case. Many people believe an alienation of affection lawsuit is too hard to prove and a waste of taxpayer resources.

At first glance, an alienation of affection lawsuit seems like a legal punishment for adultery. This is not entirely true, however. It is not the infidelity itself that is grounds for the lawsuit, it is the specific behaviors that are involved. Not all affairs would qualify for an alienation of affection suit. In fact, most would probably not.

An alienation of affection lawsuit requires proof of three separate factors:

  • The marriage was happy before the affair. If you or your spouse were having problems before the affair started, you'd have no grounds for a lawsuit.
  • The third party's actions were an intentional effort to destroy the relationship between you and your spouse. If the third party did not know that your spouse was married, you'd have no grounds for a lawsuit.
  • The third party's actions effectively destroyed the love in your marriage.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of an experienced divorce lawyer, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena divorce attorneys are able to provide assistance with issues relating to the division of marital assets, alimony, child support, child custody, and visitation.