Alienation of Affection State Laws

CHINESE MAN & WIFE ARGUING IN FRONT OF CHILD
Larry Dale Gordon/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Alienation of affection lawsuits is when an outsider interferes with a marriage. Defendants in these suits are often an adulterous spouse's lover, but family members, counselors, therapists, and religious members who have encouraged a spouse to get a divorce have also been sued for these matters. 

Alienation of Affection State Laws

These claims are challenging to establish and involve many elements like proof of entailed love, alienation and destruction, malicious conduct, and more. Showing proof of extramarital sex is not required, however.

Adultery is also considered a common law is known as criminal conversation. This is an old expression for sexual intercourse that is often obsolete. Similar to a breach of promise, the tort involves a broken engagement, alienation of affection, and a deserted spouse.

This common law tort is abolished in several jurisdictions. In fact, only a few states in the United States still allow alienation of affection lawsuits. These states include Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.

A-L

The legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit in many states like Alabama, California, Florida, and Idaho.

  • Alabama: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Alaska: Neither state law nor case law addresses the issue of alienation of affection in Alaska.
  • Arizona: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Arkansas: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • California: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Colorado: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Connecticut: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Delaware: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • District of Columbia: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Florida: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Georgia: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Hawaii: Yes, alienation of affection lawsuits can still be brought.
  • Idaho: No, alienation of affection lawsuits were abolished through judicial decision.
  • Illinois: Yes, alienation of affection lawsuits can still be brought.
  • Indiana: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Iowa: No, alienation of affection lawsuits were abolished through judicial decision.
  • Kansas: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Kentucky: No, alienation of affection lawsuits were abolished through judicial decision.
  • Louisiana: In 1927, in the case of Moulin v. Monteleone, 165 La. 169, 115 So. 447, actions for alienation of affection were abolished.

M-Q

In 2003, Missouri's highest court abolished the state's alienation of affection lawsuit. States like Mississippi, New Mexico, and North Carolina still allow alienation of affection lawsuits to be brought about.

  • Maine: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Maryland: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Massachusetts: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Michigan: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Minnesota: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Mississippi: Yes, alienation of affection lawsuits can still be brought.
  • Missouri: No, on June 17, 2003, Missouri’s highest court abolished the state’s alienation of affection law.
  • Montana: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Nebraska: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Nevada: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • New Hampshire: No. According to Title XLIII, Chapter 460:2, "No damages shall be allowed to either spouse in any action based on alienation of the affections of the other spouse."
  • New Jersey: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • New Mexico: Yes, alienation of affection lawsuits can still be brought.
  • New York: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • North Carolina: Yes, alienation of affection lawsuits can still be brought. Note: As of 10/01/2009, if the extramarital affair started after a married couple is separated, the alienation of affection law cannot be used. NCGA.state.nc.us -- HB 1110
  • North Dakota: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Ohio: No, in 1985, alienation of affection suits were abolished by General Laws c. 207, Sect. 47B, inserted by St. 1985, c. 74 Sect. 1.
  • Oklahoma: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Oregon: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Pennsylvania: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.

R-Z

In 1997, Texas enacted the Family Code so that the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit was to be abolished. Lawsuits were also abolished through the judicial decision in states like South Carolina and Washington.

  • Rhode Island: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • South Carolina: No, alienation of affection lawsuits were abolished through judicial decision.
  • South Dakota: Yes, alienation of affection lawsuits can still be brought.
  • Tennessee: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Texas: No, in 1997, Family Code, Chapter 1.107 was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Utah: Yes, alienation of affection lawsuits can still be brought.
  • Vermont: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Virginia: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Washington: No, alienation of affection lawsuits were abolished through judicial decision.
  • West Virginia: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Wisconsin: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
  • Wyoming: No, legislation was enacted to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.