If I was sued for alienation of affection, what would happen if I didn’t pay?

I looked up all I could find on alienation of affection n my state and it looks like I’m going to loose the case. I don’t have any money; I don’t even have a job. So what would happen if I didn’t pay? Also, I no longer live in the state can I still be sued?

Asked on December 4, 2011 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question relating to awards given to plaintiffs for successfully proven alienation of affection cases.  The majority of states no longer recognize this type of claim; alienation of affection and criminal conversation cases.  You would need to be sued in a state that recognized these actions and also has jurisdiction over you.  Jurisdiction can be determined by where the parties reside or when the action to the claim took place. 

 Only North Carolina, Illinois, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah recognize alienation of affection and criminal conversation as legally cognizable claims.  If you are able to be sued in any of these states, then you need to consider a sizeable judgment could be found against you.  Verdicts have been growing in size for these types of cases, but the jury and judge will consider the length and extent of the relationship that created the alienation of affection case.  The judgments in these cases are treated like any other judgment.

If you decide to not pay the judgment some states allow the pursuit to garnish your wages.  This will also appear on your credit report that you a judgment against you.  Depending on the amount of the judgment, it could affect you getting or keeping credit card accounts and/or mortgages. 

If you believe that the other party has a solid case against you, it may be in your best interest to seek the assistance of an attorney in your area that specializes in these matters.  While the attorney might cost you some money, it could save you a great deal of money and hardship in the future.

 


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