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Monday, June 21, 2010

Alienation of Affection Claim Leads to Big $ for Greensboro Woman

North Carolina is one of the few states still recognizing the claim of alienation of affections. This claim is becoming fairly popular as of late due to the recent $9 million jury award in Guilford County. National news reports have also been discussing the claim in relation to the John Edwards saga in nearby Chatham County. With as popular as this claim has become in recent months, Tiger Woods and his stash of secret “putters” are lucky none to date have been identified as a resident of the Tar Heel state.

The claim itself involves a wrongful act which deprives a person of the affection, love, society, companionship, and comfort of their spouse. By allowing the spouse to sue the third-party adulterer, this claim protects and recognizes the sanctity of marriage. The claim itself requires proof of three elements: 1) there was a marriage with love and affection existing between the husband and wife; (2) that love and affection was alienated; and (3) the malicious acts of the defendant produced the loss of that love and affection.
If proven, a person may be awarded compensatory and punitive damages. In the Guilford County case, the jury awarded her $5 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages. The $9 million dollar jury verdict was awarded in Guilford County also included claims for alienation of affections, criminal conversation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
With this recent decision mistresses and adulterers better beware that there actions might have a hefty impact on their bank accounts.
To read the news coverage, click:
• Wife Wins $9 Million From Husband’s Alleged Mistress – ABC News
• The Price of an Affair? $9 Million – Greensboro News & Record

Friday, June 11, 2010

Economy Impacts Divorce

North Carolina families have not been immune to many of the same factors that have hit families across the country. One disturbing trend is the reality that because residential homes have lost significant value recently, many married couples who wish to seek a divorce simply cannot afford to because they owe too much on their marital home. The attorneys of Maitland Law use their unique backgrounds in both family and real estate law to assist clients with innovative strategies to resolve this and other difficult issues. Where others pose more questions than answers, the attorneys of Maitland Law turn your questions into answers.

According to one MSNBC report, a contested proceeding involving a couple with at least one child can expect their divorce to cost approximately $53,000 to $180,000, if they should go to court. The numbers factored in attorneys’ fees, financial advice, counseling and real estate costs for buying or renting separate residences.

In past times many of these expenses were recaptured when the couple sold their marital home and divided the proceeds. Nowadays the disastrous real estate market leaves many homeowners with their largest marital asset, the marital home, turned economically upside down, as they owe more on the property than it is worth.

Despite such dire statistics, we have found that with proper planning and creative thinking Maitland Law can successfully help our clients cope with difficult financial issues that might otherwise become an insurmountable obstacle to a mutually desired divorce. The key is good communication and valued legal experience for the parties to achieve their goals. Please feel free to contact us with any questions at infor@maitlandlaw.com and let our unique team of family and real estate law professionals go to work for you. We look forward to the privilege of assisting you with your legal matter.

For the complete MSNBC article, please click here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27808110/.