A Wake County judge recently handed down another huge judgment in an alienation of affection and criminal conversation case in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The award to the ex-wife against her Husband’s paramour totaled $30 million dollars.
$10 million of that amount was to compensate the ex-wife for actual losses suffered as a result of the paramour’s “stealing” her husband’s love and affection. The other $20 million was awarded to punish the paramour for her acts. That is some expensive lovin’.
This story will surely draw headlines all over the country. North Carolina has become famous (or infamous) for these kinds of cases.
However, it is important to note that the paramour apparently did not even appear to defend herself. So, this case is not reflective of the true “value” of alienation of affection cases in North Carolina. It appears that the judge awarded the ex-wife what she claimed she was entitled to receive, and since it was not contested, she essentially got to “pick her number.”
I suspect that the paramour does not have $30 million sitting around. In fact, she may have nothing (other than her apparent charms). As is typical in these “super-verdict” cases, the ex-wife will likely not even collect one percent of that award (that would still be $300,000). And, the husband doesn’t have to pay a penny of the judgment. So, the amount of the award is largely irrelevant.
Nonetheless, there are two very important lessons to take away from this story: First, don’t fool around with married people in North Carolina; second, be prepared to defend yourself if you do.
Randolph (Tré) Morgan III is an experienced family law attorney accepting cases in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Clayton, Smithfield, Wake Forest, RTP, Durham, Chapel Hill, Holly Springs and surrounding areas. He focuses his practice in divorce, child custody, alimony, child support, equitable distribution, property division, paternity, guardianship and other family related matters.