alienation of affections

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alienation of affections (uncountable)

  1. (law) A common law tort that can be brought against the third party alleged to be responsible for the failure of marriage; abolished in many jurisdictions.
    • 2002, Eric Rasmusen, 5: An economic approach to adultery law, Antony W. Dnes, Bob Rowthorn (editors), The Law and Economics of Marriage and Divorce, page 83,
      The wrong in alienation of affections is foreseen damage to the relationship between husband and wife, which requires the marriage not to have been in ruins before the outsider interfered.
    • 2004, Robert F. Cochran, Robert M. Ackerman, Law and Community: The Case of Torts, page 79,
      She brought suit against Margie under a seldom-used theory, the alienation of affections cause of action.
      In an alienation of affections claim, a plaintiff can recover from a third party who has deprived her of the affection of her spouse.
    • 2011, Sonya Ziaja, Homewrecker 2.0: An Exploration of Liability for Heart Balm Torts Involving AI Humanoid Consorts, Bilge Mutlu, Christoph Bartneck, Jaap Ham, Vanessa Evers, Takayuki Kanda (editors), Social Robotics: Third International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR, page 117,
      To make a successful claim for a[sic] alienation of affections, traditionally, a plaintiff would have to prove three elements: (1) that true affection had existed between the spouses at one time; (2) that the affection was destroyed; and (3) that the defendant caused the destruction of affection or otherwise impaired the marital relationship.

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