Any divorce attorney in Provo, or anywhere for that matter, will tell you that one of the top reasons for divorce in Utah is infidelity. Cheating on your wife or husband may be common, but that does not mean there are no consequences. If you are thinking of getting a divorce because your spouse cheated on you, there may be another, easier, way to deal with this legally with the help of your divorce attorney: alienation of affection.
What is alienation of affection?
Alienation of affection is a good way to punish your spouse for cheating on you without actually getting a divorce. It is similar to a personal injury lawsuit, which goes to civil court. You can demand that your spouse pays you for the pain and suffering you experienced because your spouse cheated on you. Utah is only one of seven states that still allow this kind of legal action.
Is it the same as adultery?
Adultery is a crime in most states, and usually leads to fines or jail time. By contrast, alienation of affection is a civil case, and it is not a crime. Another difference is that when you sue for alienation of affection, you do not have to prove that your spouse had sex with another person. All you have to show is that you used to have a loving relationship, and that that is no longer the case because of the influence of another person. In fact, that other person does not have to be a lover. If your mother-in-law is responsible for the loss of affection, for example, you still have a case.
Can you also sue the other person?
If your spouse leaves you because of the influence of another person or entity, then you can sue them as well. Using the example above, if your mother-in-law encourages your spouse to leave you, then you can sue your mother-in-law. In some cases in Utah, the lawsuit named organizations as the responsible party.
Seeking compensation for losing your spouse’s affection may seem coldhearted, but it is a good way to discourage your spouse from doing it again. This may help in saving your marriage.