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The Other Man- Legal Action

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Angelback posted 7/5/2013 09:14 AM

The Other Man: Legal Action - Looking for opinions.

I am currently divorcing my wife on the grounds of adultery. In my state, adultery is still a crime, punishable by up to $1000 fine and a year in jail. I have no desire to prosecute her but since the OM was a participant, I am considering a civil suit against him for damages, counseling for my kids, etc...Would anyone else consider this if it were available in your state? Leaving her to her screwed up self is her punishment but why should he get to participate in this act that has brought so much pain to my family, and get away with no consequences?

Sad in AZ posted 7/5/2013 09:22 AM

Some things to consider:

Your stbxw is going to be brought into the civil suit as a witness, so you are not sparing her from any shame.

Is the criminal law against adultery something that is normally enforced? If so, you may not have any say in whether or not your stbxw is criminally charged if you institute the civil suit against the OM.

How old are your children? Will your pursuing this course of action cause them shame and embarrassment?

How will you feel having your 'dirty laundry' aired in public?

All things being equal, I would sue both if it were available; they were equally culpable.

yogaga1 posted 7/5/2013 09:26 AM

My fWH was named in the OW's divorce documents. OW's BH called me and asked if I would mind if he could weasel a way to get my fWH to testify about their relationship during their divorce hearings. I said No Problemo! But, in the end, he decided to just name fWH in the documents and leave it at that.

I will say that I personally left OW out of our divorce documents (which we ended up tossing anyway) simply because I want nothing to do with her- but when OW's BH listed my fWH name in their documents and the threat of testifying was on the line- I think that shaped up fWH more than anything!! It embarrassed the hell out of him and he really took a step back at that point to evaluate the damage he had caused.

Best of luck...

Angelback posted 7/5/2013 09:35 AM

Thanks for the replies. I am aware of the side effects this action could cause, esp to my kids. The 16 and 15 yr old already know. But what strikes me is how many people suffer thru this most horrible event and depth of the pain. I would rather have been shot by a burglar. But in that case, the guilty party would be held accountable. I would like to see all states toughen their stance on this most cruel and devastating "action" that one human intentionally committs against another. If people knew their were true legal consequences for adulterous actions, would it cause some to think twice? I think it would.

roughroadahead posted 7/5/2013 09:38 AM

Lots of states have adultery as a crime. I'm going to be blunt. It doesn't matter what you want in the criminal arena. The chances of the prosecutor running with it are almost nil.

As far as civil, if you're talking alienation of affection type causes, it is rarely worth it financially. If you're not, intentional infliction is not typically a winner either, but check the case law in your state (or have an L do it).

This is a business. "She cannot get away with this" has no place in making these decisions. Focus on your healing, not sticking it to the ex.

roughroadahead posted 7/5/2013 09:39 AM

The death penalty does nothing for the homicide rate. Why would adultery be different?

Angelback posted 7/5/2013 09:53 AM

Not looking for alienation of affection and not looking for vengeance on her. But, in a purely legal perspective, if adultery is still a crime and there are injuries suffered because of it, I think there should be accountabiity. Myself and my kids have been injured and since the state still sees adultery as a crime, that would seem to leave open the possibiility of civil recourse.

And I would hope it would send a message about how bad behavior still has consequences. I know in NC a woman was recently awarded several million dollar award in this type case. Maybe she collects, maybe not. But I have to believe if this type suit were more successful and common, folks might think twice before inflicting this type damage on others.

TrustNoOne posted 7/5/2013 10:01 AM

I understand where you are coming from, Angelback. I think you are swimming upstream. Your time, energy, and financial resources would be better spent focused on your healing, and that of your children.


And I would hope it would send a message about how bad behavior still has consequences. I know in NC a woman was recently awarded several million dollar award in this type case. Maybe she collects, maybe not. But I have to believe if this type suit were more successful and common, folks might think twice before inflicting this type damage on others.

Would require them to possess this:

Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong. Moral judgment may derive from values or norms (principles and rules). In psychological terms conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go against his/her moral values and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when actions conform to such norms.

Frankly, if they possessed that, you wouldn't have to consider legal action, now - would you?

No one wins in this. Ever.

Sad in AZ posted 7/5/2013 10:31 AM

The crux of the situation is that you cannot legislate morality--you can try, but it won't work.

SimpleTruth posted 7/5/2013 11:46 AM

I see where Angelback is coming from.

I agree that enforcing laws don't make people change or make them grow a conscience, but they are there as a consequence for wrongful behavior.

I think adultery is comparable to domestic violence. The perpetrators in both cases are broken persons with horrible coping mechanisms. We have laws against DV and encourage DV victims to press charges. Some victims do and some don't. I wonder why we don't encourage victims of adultery?

I agree with Angelback, adultery is a "cruel and devastating 'action' that one human intentionally commits against another." Angelback may not have physical scars, but emotional scars hurt every bit as much as physical scars and have a lasting impact.

We all heal differently. I can see how this might help some to process and heal. Angelback seems to be thinking about all ramifications if he purses legal action against OM.

Would I consider this for myself? No, I would rather just let go of all of it. The OW is not worth my time and I'm still trying to figure out if my WH is.

[This message edited by SimpleTruth at 12:14 PM, July 5th (Friday)]

roughroadahead posted 7/5/2013 12:04 PM

I disagree. While all of us would love to stick it to the AP, pursuing civil legal action is useful for one thing: recovering a monetary loss. The ramification that I'm not sure is under consideration is that absent special circumstances, the suit most likely will not be successful. The very first post speaks of "no consequences". Where will Angelback be emotionally if the suit is unsuccessful? All that dirty laundry aired in public, and still no "consequence". It will be a frustrated purpose and likely an emotional step backwards.

I believe that without a large monetary loss that you're seeking to recover, a civil suit isn't a productive way to spend money. I guess if I was a legal theorist, i'd be"law and economics". Exacting some sort of moral penalty is not the purpose of the civil legal system.

The OM is irrelevant. He was just around and willing. Focus on yourself and your children, not whether the OM or stbx are suffering appropriate consequences in your mind.

Angelback posted 7/5/2013 12:43 PM

I truly believe that we can make positive change and help others by using the tragic circumstances life hands us. The OM is an actor of some fame in LA. My lawyers are considering taking this on contingency. The dirty laundry is out there anyway as I filed on grounds of adultery. I also am having breakfast with my state legislator on Saturday to discuss him proposing a new law for our state that strengthens the legal position of BS's in our state (GA). If this case could get some publicity and because of that help other victims and possibly prevent a few from becoming victims, I would see that as a huge part of my healing process. Especially since I have found out just how many people suffer this totally avoidable pain.

Coraline posted 7/5/2013 13:18 PM

So you wouldn't go after your wife? That's completely illogical. And laws about adultery are from the middle ages. As much as I hate adultery, I would consider enacting new laws against it to be an archaic practice, especially because such laws are and always have been disproportionately used against women. The fact that it would happen in Georgia would just further confirm for many people that the South is behind the times. Please don't do that. Seriously man, let it go. Revenge is not going to help you. Make your wife pay for counseling as part of your settlement. SHE is the one who hurt your kids, not the OM.

solus sto posted 7/5/2013 14:11 PM

I think pursuing legal action has the potential to harm you and your kids in ways you have not considered.

That your attorney is considering taking the case on contingency is not particularly meaningful. All it means is that they see a deep pocket on the other side, and are willing to gamble that a little work might give them access to some hush money.

You're thinking in very black-and-white terms. Good, bad. Right, wrong.

Strangely, the legal system cares very little about those things. It is driven by dollars and cents.

You won't change laws.

You won't change human behavior.

You won't illustrate that good triumphs over evil.

You won't unfuck your wife.

And you won't feel better.

Furthermore, because you are making the argument that you are considering this fight because your children have been harmed, STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT. Filing suit against a celebrity pretty much guarantees that more damage will be done to your children. If you draw an "actor of some fame" into litigation, you will be putting your kids in a fishbowl, particularly if you claim damages related to them. Are you prepared for that?

Going public is just not the way to protect your children from affair fallout.

I get your anger--really, I do. But keeping it alive in the legal system is not the path to healing.

Especially when, really, it's not this other guy's fault your wife cheated.

Want to file suit? Include her as a defendant.

roughroadahead posted 7/5/2013 16:59 PM

I would bet money that your attorneys don't see recovery of damages as their strategy. They see deep pockets, a desire on the part of OM not to be dragged in, and a settlement offer.

That's what the contingency is for.

[This message edited by roughroadahead at 4:59 PM, July 5th (Friday)]

Angelback posted 7/6/2013 07:02 AM

I truly appreciate all the feedback, especially those that see it differently. You have given me much to think about. I (like probably a lot of you) find myself thinking I am convinced of the correct course of action one day, only to feel or see it differently later. So many decisions being made right now. Of course I want to protect and heal my kids during this time. And that is way more important than any other consideration. One of the greatest pieces of advice I have gotten off this forum is to just take your time and give your thoughts and feelings time.

Thanks again.

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