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Marital torts, often dubbed “heart-balm” torts, are civil claims which allow individuals to recover damages when their spouse has cheated and/or left them for another.  North Carolina is one of the few states where these torts remain legally viable.  At Gantt Family Law, we handle many cases of alienation of affection and criminal conversation.  Whether you have been wronged by another or you are defending a suit, contact one of our experienced lawyers to discuss your options.




Alienation of affection claims must satisfy three elements:

  • The plaintiff and spouse were happily married and a genuine love and affection existed between them;

  • The existing love and affection was alienated; and

  • The malicious conduct of defendant was a cause of the loss and alienation of such love and affection.




Criminal conversation is a claim often filed alongside alienation of affections.  There are only two elements for this claim:

  • Actual marriage between plaintiff and his or her spouse; and

  • Sexual intercourse between defendant and plaintiff’s spouse. 



Marital torts are often coupled with claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress.  There are three elements to this claim:

  • Extreme and outrageous conduct by the defendant;

  • An intention to cause severe emotional distress; or represents a reckless indifference to the likelihood that such conduct will cause severe emotional distress;

  • And which does in fact cause severe emotional distress to the plaintiff.

At Gantt Family Law, we are experienced in handling cases involving marital torts.If your marriage has been damaged by another, or if you are being sued for these claims, contact us today to discuss how the law applies to your situation.We can explain your rights and legal options today.

Watch Richard's vlog entry about infidelity and alienation of affection.

Disclaimer: Gantt Family Law’s legal articles and video blogs are for educational purposes only and are not offered to provide legal advice. By reading our legal articles and/or watching our video blogs, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and Gantt Family Law.  Gantt Family Law’s legal articles and video blogs do not constitute legal advice. You should not act upon any information provided herein without seeking advice from a lawyer licensed in your own state or jurisdiction. These legal articles and vlogs should not be used as a substitution for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.Any and all use of the legal articles and vlogs is at your own risk. The materials presented may not reflect the most recent legal developments, verdicts or settlements. Gantt Family Law is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this site or for damages arising from the use or performance of this site under any circumstances.

Alienation of Affection

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