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Alienation of affection explained

Most in Indianapolis likely enter into their marriages thinking that they will last forever. In many cases, without the intervention of a third party, they may very well have. However, one spouse entering into a romantic relationship with another person is often a difficult blow for a marriage to overcome. One whose marriage ends due to such a relationship may harbor a heavy resentment towards whomever stole his or her spouse away. Such feelings may even prompt him or her to seek legal action

Is that possible? A legal concept exists known as alienation of affection. This occurs when one instigates romantic advances towards a person with the intention of diverting affection away from another who may have certain rights or claims to it (such as a spouse) and towards him or herself. It basically puts the blame for ending a relationship onto the party who intruded into it. Many have cited alienation of affection as grounds for initiating action against a former spouse's new partner. 

Unfortunately, those hoping to use this idea as the basis for a lawsuit may be sorry to learn that Indiana does not allow it. Section 34.12.2.1(a) of Indiana's state code lists alienation of affection among those civil causes of action that the state has abolished. Yet while this bars one from suing for another stealing his or her spouse, it does not necessarily mean that he or she will not see such action affect the outcome of his or her divorce proceedings. The court does take factors such as the circumstances under which a marriage ended into account when making determinations regarding child custody, spousal support and potentially even property division. 

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Robert Schembs
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Indianapolis, IN 46204

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