Can I be sued for dating a woman that is separated but still married?

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Can I be sued for dating a woman that is separated but still married?

I started dating a woman in CA. After a few weeks, I learned that she is still married, even though she has been separated from her husband for at least 3 years. She has asked him for a divorce on several occasions but he refuses to cooperate. They got married in FL and have no children. Am I at risk of being sued for adultery in this case?

Asked on November 18, 2010 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I believe what you are referring to in this case is an "alienation of affection" lawsuit.  This type of suit seeks to punish the non-married party rather than the cheating spouse.  However, this behavior is only actionable in a few states; it is generally considered antiquated in most jurisdictions. In CA, the law has abolished the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.  Bottom line, you can't be sued from dating a separated, but still legally married, woman.


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