My Spouse Cheated on Me, and now I’m thinking about a divorce.

My Spouse Cheated on Me. 

You notice your spouse is absent for long periods of time.  No explanations, money missing from the bank account, a non-existent love life, and the arguments seem to be never ending.  A text from an unknown number lights up on your spouse’s cellphone with the message “I miss you, when will I see you again?”  Your stomach drops and you suddenly realize – my spouse is cheating on me.

In December of 2011, the Desert News reported a Riverton man filed suit against his wife’s lover alleging “alienation of affection”.  The husband sought $1.5 million in damages.  According to the lawsuit, the man contended his wife’s affair led to the abandonment of their marriage and children.  See http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705396347/Riverton-man-sues-his-wifes-lover-for-15-million.html?pg=all

Alienation of Affection

To pursue a successful action for alienation of affection, you must be able to prove the lover intentionally and actively played a substantial part in inducing or causing one spouse’s loss of the other spouse’s affections. See  Restat 2d of Tors, 683 (2nd ed. 1979).

The Utah Supreme Court, in Norton v. Macfarlane, stated the purpose of an action alleging alienation of affection is “the protection of the love, society, companionship, and comfort that form the foundation of a marriage and give rise to the unique bonding that occurs in a successful marriage.” Norton v. Macfarlane, 818 P.2d 8 (Utah 1991)

  1. Likelihood of Success

Only seven states, including Utah, still allow litigants to pursue actions against paramours alleging alienation.  See  http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/12/08/cheating.spouses.lawsuits/ .  Another difficulty is identifying the existence and the strength of the various causative factors that weaken or destroy a marriage. Certainly extramarital relationships can and do destroy the bonds of mutual trust upon which a sound marriage is founded, but marriages also fail simply because of personal inadequacies of one or both of the spouses. An affair might only be incidental to a more primary cause, such as finances or irreconcilable differences.

Conclusion

As all couples can imagine, an extra-martial affair can cause irreparable damage to not only a spouse, but children as well.  Before you decide whether you would like to pursue an action of alienation of affection, or even divorce, you should consult with an attorney who can advise you on the best course of action.

 

 

 

 

Michael Hepworth

Michael Hepworth

Managing Attorney at Hepworth & Associates
Michael is the Managing Attorney of Hepworth & Associates, LLC.
Michael Hepworth

Latest posts by Michael Hepworth (see all)

  • Call Now (801) 872-2222
    Free Case Review
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Accident and Injury
Adoption
Alimony
Business Law
Car Accidents
Civil Law
Constitutional Law
Contract Law
Corporate Law
Criminal Defense
Criminal Law
Divorce
DUI Defense
Employment Law
Eviction Law
Family Law
Insurance
Landlord Tenant Law
Litigation
News
Personal Injury
Protective Orders
Real Estate Law
Trusts
Trusts, Wills & Estate Planning
Wills & Estate Planning
Wills & Trusts