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blog home Divorce Alienation of Affection: South Dakota Votes to Keep Law

Alienation of Affection: South Dakota Votes to Keep Law

By Nottage and Ward on February 22, 2011

Recently, the House Judiciary Committee in South Dakota voted to keep a law that permits a person to file a lawsuit seeking financial damages from someone who seduces and steals their spouse, reports PlainsDaily.com.

It was a 7-5 vote by the committee to reject legislation that would have abolished the law, which has been in effect since before 1889, when South Dakota became a state. The law allowed a husband to sue if another man seduced and stole his wife. In 2002, the law was changed to allow a woman to sue if her husband was stolen by another woman. The practice is often referred to as “alienation of affection” and seven states in the U.S., including South Dakota, still permit lawsuits for alienation of affection. The other states are Utah, North Carolina, New Mexico, Mississippi, Illinois, and Hawaii.

Critics of lawsuits alleging alienation of affection say it doesn’t help protect marriages and treats spouses like property. Many claim the practice is typically used for revenge. Others believe it can be used to force another spouse to give away child custody rights or pay more money during divorce negotiations. On the other hand, supporters say that such lawsuits should be available to handle instances when a person intentionally acts to break up a marriage. Supporters believe that those that interfere with the relationship between a husband and a wife are taking away a valuable right. Many also contend that the law should be kept to help protect a wronged spouse.

If you live in Illinois and are considering divorce, you may want to talk with an Illinois divorce attorney who can help you understand what your legal rights and options are. At Nottage and Ward, we don’t believe in backing down in the face of a challenge. Our lawyers will make sure your rights are protected while helping you through the divorce process in Illinois. Call 312-332-2915 today to learn more.

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