) follows through on getting that next piece of paper—the divorce—from his (ex) wife. By the way, he told you, he is “still married” to his ex-wife (he already calls her his “ex”) but he is in the process of separating from her. Your “boyfriend” (Yes, you call him that, and he calls himself that!In fact, she learns through his Facebook account, he has had the girlfriend for some time.
Those two causes of action—or grounds to sue a person--have been abolished in most states, however North Carolina is one of a handful of states that still allow jilted spouses to sue the paramours of their mates for criminal conversation and alienation of affections.
Technically, the suit is not “criminal,” nor is one brought based on “conversation” alone.
Heart-balm actions can be used as leverage in divorce cases.
In North Carolina, criminal conversation and alienation of affections actions—nicknamed heart-balm claims—are often filed along with or during litigation of a pending divorce case.
Sexual intercourse, overnight stays, and out of town trips between spouses who are separated can sometimes blur the line as to when the date of separation occurred, especially if one party believes that such contact is made in an effort to reconcile.
If a party disputes the date of separation on the basis of reconciliation, then the court considers whether there was a voluntary renewal of the marital relationship based on the totality of the circumstances.
She has every legal right to do so, assuming the facts as she presents them are true or that it is reasonable, based on what she has seen and heard, to believe they are true.
Defending against criminal conversation and alienation of affections actions can be embarrassing, not to mention costly to paramours, and they can damage a cheating spouse’s chances of resolving a pending divorce case on favorable terms.
Many couples separate and get back together several times before the final break.
As couples struggle with the conflicts of separation, sexual relations may be one way they test the water to decide if they want to salvage the marital relationship.
North Carolina law requires that parties be separated for one year before an action can be filed for absolute divorce.