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Marriage is a sacred institution not to be trifled with. Our society has done away with the criminal penalties for adultery, but some states still permit civil penalties. Utah is one of those states:
"SALT LAKE CITY — A Riverton man has filed a personal injury lawsuit against an Idaho resident his wife left him for, alleging alienation of affection and intentional affliction of emotional distress.
He is seeking $1.5 million in damages.
In the lawsuit filed in 3rd District Court Thursday, the man states that he and his wife were married in 1995 and had two children, now ages 14 and 16. In 2010, though, the "defendant" — a former Utah man now residing in Idaho — began an "illicit" affair with the man's wife.
According to the lawsuit, the defendant knew the woman was married and that she had children but carried on the affair throughout 2010 and 2011. On Sept. 15, the man's wife moved to Burley, Idaho, to live with the defendant, leaving her husband and children behind." (Source)
Marriage is a legal contract that is just as binding as any other legal contract entered into by two capable parties. Anyone that interferes with that contract, through seduction, should be held legally liable. I hope this case is heard by a jury and not a judge. One of the greatest problems with our society is a lack of commitment to anything long term.
Bringing children into the equation makes it even more important to enforce the marriage contract. Obviously,there are cases where the spouse is physically or sexually abusive, or has an addiction that he or she won't resolve. In such a situation, divorce is the right solution.
Yet, in too many cases, physical attraction to some individual or fantasy, leads to one spouse abandoning both their marital and parental responsibilities.
If I were to recruit an employee of another company that was under contract with that company, I could be held legally responsible for helping bring about a breach of contract. The marriage contract is no different.
"Alienation of affections was first codified as a tort by the New York state legislature in 1864, and similar legislation existed in many U.S. states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since 1935, this tort has been abolished in 42 states. Alienation is, however, still recognized in Hawaii, Illinois, North Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Utah.
An action for alienation of affection does not require proof of extramarital sex. To succeed on an alienation claim, the plaintiff has to show that (1) the marriage entailed love between the spouses in some degree; (2) the spousal love was alienated and destroyed; and (3) defendant's malicious conduct contributed to or caused the loss of affection. It is not necessary to show that the defendant set out to destroy the marital relationship, but only that he or she intentionally engaged in acts which would foreseeably impact on the marriage.
Thus, defendant has a defense against an alienation claim where it can be shown that defendant did not know that the object of his or her affections was in fact married. It is not a defense that the non-innocent spouse consented to defendant's conduct. But it might be a defense that the defendant was not the active and aggressive seducer. If defendant's conduct was somehow inadvertent, the plaintiff would be unable to show intentional or malicious action. But prior marital problems do not establish a defense unless such unhappiness had reached a level of negating love between the spouses." (Source)
Those that seek this type of action need to remember that they have the right to a jury trial under the Constitution.