Alienation of Affection


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Related to Alienation of Affection: criminal conversation, Parental alienation

Alienation of Affection

The removal of love, companionship, or aid of an individual's spouse.

Historically, alienation of affection furnished grounds for an action against the individual who interloped in a marital relationship. The harm caused was viewed as a deprivation of an individual's rights of consortium.

The elements of the action generally included wrongful conduct by the interfering party with the complainant's spouse, the loss of affection or consortium, and a nexus between the conduct of the defendant and the impairment or loss of consortium, which included a deprivation of such rights as services, assistance, and sexual relations.

Today, the action has fallen into disuse and no longer constitutes a ground for a lawsuit in most states.

See: estrangement
References in periodicals archive ?
1977) (explaining that examples of such manifestations in alienation of affection claims include refusals to cohabitate, separation, and divorce, and any conduct that indicates the dwindling of one spouse's regard for the other).
1986) (maintaining that jury consideration of alienation of affections "did not form the basis for a cause of action based solely on alienation of affection").
12) She received compensatory damages for alienation of affection based on emotional harm and consortium rights.
18) In one case, the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed damages for alienation of affection and criminal conversation "awarding] $1.
Having not taken a poll on the issue, my assertion that, as a descriptive matter, a judgment for alienation of affection would undermine the legitimacy of the legal system, if at all, far less than a prohibition of advocacy a particular viewpoint on a matter of public concern, is, admittedly, based on little more than a hunch.
In contrast, fundamental unfairness is not the evil usually associated with restrictions on formal autonomy such as laws penalizing alienation of affection.
In South Dakota, this cause of action can be brought against one who seduces a spouse by using the alienation of affection tort and when a valuable interest in the marriage is lost due to the adulterous activity.
240) Conversely, despite these elements being satisfied, it seems unlikely that a court would recognize a cause of action for alienation of affection because technically there is no adultery under the language of South Dakota Codified Laws section 25-4-3, which only recognizes adultery as a relationship between two people of the opposite gender.
Awards have been held to be excludible in actions based on emotional distress, injury to reputation, sex, age or race discrimination, wrongful termination, alienation of affections and wrongful death.
16) Nonphysical injuries to which the exclusion has been applied to shelter damages from taxation include alienation of affections (Rev.
The South Dakota Supreme Court held in February that public policy does not require abolition of the tort of alienation of affections.
The court added that alienation of affections remains a legitimate cause of action in nine states.