Is there any kind of recourse I might be able to legally take against someone who broke up a happy family because of an affair?

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2011

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Is there any kind of recourse I might be able to legally take against someone who broke up a happy family because of an affair?

While I was deployed for 7 months my wife had an affair with 2 men. This caused my wife and I to get divorced. It has caused a lot of pain to my children and I. My wife and I were happy prior to me leaving, they used the fact that I was serving my country to exploit her loneliness. I was just wondering if there was any way legally that I could sue them for wrecking my marriage?

Asked on June 14, 2011 under Family Law, Indiana


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

What you are referring to here is something kpwn in the law as "Alienation of Affection".  However, virtually states no longer allow such a suit to be brought, including IN.  Even if one could be filed in this case, you may not have won. In order prevail, a plaintiff (the innocent spouse) must prove that the defendants' (the 2 men) actions were the sole cause of the break-up of the marriage.  The test the court uses is whether or not the spouse’s love and affection for the plaintiff just naturally drifted away or whether the defendant's conduct was the cause.  And since your wife was with not one, but two different men, that would be hard to prove. Frankly, you wouldn't be awarded much in damages if you did win; these suits typically are not cost effective (i.e. it would cost more to file suit then what you would be awarded in you won the case).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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