What is alienation of affection?

If your marriage ended because your spouse deserted you, then you may have a unique opportunity to claim punitive damages from him or her.

According to FindLaw, alienation of affection is something that might give you grounds to sue your spouse for damages after your marriage ends.


In general, when you claim alienation of affection, you will need to show that the actions of your former spouse led to the failure of your marriage. You will need to provide evidence that you suffered due to his or her actions, and that you feel harm occurred to your reputation of dignity as a result. In general, this claim means there was a loss or withholding of love in your marriage on the part of your former spouse.

It is most common to file such a case in a situation where there was an extramarital affair. Some people chose to sue the other person instead of their spouse.


You must prove three elements to the court to win your case. The first one is that your marriage was one of love pat some point during the relationship. You must then show that your spouse destroyed that love through some action. You must show your spouse’s actions caused the loss of love.

You do not have to prove intent, meaning that you do not have to show that your former spouse had any malice when doing whatever he or she did to end the love in your marriage. Because of this, it is often difficult for someone to defend him or herself against such claims.