Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alienation Of Affection Law...Whatever!

     How about this?  You know how there are still some old laws that have been left on the books that were never abolished?  Well, there is this law called the Alienation of Affection Law that dates as far back as 1864.  There are still seven states in these United States of America that recognize this law.  In no particular order, they are Mississippi, South Dakota, Hawaii, Illinois, Utah, New Mexico, and my home state of North Carolina.  The law is a suit that can be filed by a spouse against a third party who is said to be responsible for the break up of their marriage through an adulterous affair with his or her spouse.  So it is a law that basically says the third party is to blame for the divorce. Can you believe this?  I cheat on you, we get a divorce, and you legally can lay the blame on the other woman not me.  And you can take this other womans money when you win the suit.  Obviously, I don't agree with this scapegoat mentality.
     The reason that this ridiculous law even came up was the fact that now a celebrity could be on the receiving end of one of these lawsuits.  The 2004 "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino could become a defendant in an Alienation of Affection suit.  Paula Cook is accusing Ms. Barrino of having an affair with  her husband Antwuan Cook.  They were photographed together and are said to have had a relationship.  If Ms. Barrino could prove that she had no idea that Mr. Cook was married, then she might have a chance. If the claim is legitimate and Mrs Cook wins, then she stands to gain quite a bit of money from Ms. Barrino.
     Believe it or not, there are precedents in this type of proceeding.  About 200 claims are filed each year in North Carolina alone.  In 2001, Christine Cooper won a $2 million decision against her husband's alleged ladylove.  And more recently, in March 2010, a 60 year old Cynthia Shackleford was awarded $9 million after suing her husband's mistress for allegedly breaking up her 33 year old marriage.  There have been bills introduced to abolish this law but the bills were never passed by legislators.
    I absolutely do not agree with this law because I feel that it is the cheating spouses fault.  The spouse decided to go down that road knowing all along that is was wrong.  They were not forced nor coerced into breaking their marriage vows.  They did it of their own free will.  I feel that this is just a way to get revenge on the other person. What do you think?


  1. That law is very outdated and a complete sham. The cheating parties should take responsibilty for their flings and lustful ways while placing the blame where it belongs... on themselves. Those lawsuits are such a waste of the courts resources and the states bs.

    Good thing I don't reside in those 7 states or sleep with married women :)

  2. Interesting, but you won't believe how lawyers will pull up cases dating as far back as the first lawsuit that the law was used, and submit it as evidence in a hearing. I feel that the person doing the cheating should be held accountable for her/his actions. I agree this is revengeful doings.

  3. Ricky I have heard of this law before and it does get used every so often, I think that it usually does revolve and come up when there are large sums of money involved but even if you remove the law I have doubts that it would change anything. The reason being that in this day and age we can sue anyone for just about anything, there in lies a problem, we are too litigious.

  4. What Scott said lol!!! Really good point Ricky, there are other laws on the books that are outdated but might not be prosecuted because there is no money to be made.


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