Couples want a divorce for a variety of reasons and in a lot of cases, that reason is that their spouse was/is having an affair. This issue often the reason that couples separate and seek a divorce. People getting a divorce often inquire about “cheating lawsuits” and “affair lawsuits”. Although there is no direct way to sue one’s spouse or ex-spouse for having an affair, North Carolina does offer two lawsuits to bring against the cheating spouse’s “lover” or a third-party that interferes with the marriage. The lawsuits are separate and are called “alienation of affection” and “criminal conversation”. This article will explore each lawsuit separately in detail and explain the differences between the two.
North Carolina is one of the few states that still recognize “alienation of affection” and “criminal conversation”. Most states have abolished the torts because they view them as outdated and no longer relevant. However, North Carolina has chosen to follow the minority view. Criminal conversation and alienation of affection are still alive and well in this state. In most cases, the causes of actions are brought together, but they are actually two different actions with completely different elements to prove.