When you find out your spouse has been unfaithful, it’s a devastating blow.
You may wonder, “Can I sue my wife for cheating on me?” The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think and depends on several factors including where you live and the specific circumstances surrounding the infidelity.
For example, in Georgia, you cannot sue your wife (or your husband) for cheating on you. You can, however, bring it up as a grounds for divorce.
Let’s keep learning.
What States Can You Sue Your Spouse for Cheating?
Where you live determines whether or not you can sue your spouse for cheating on you.
Some states allow for what is known as “alienation of affection” claims, where you can sue the person your spouse cheated with. Not quite the same thing, but it’s definitely related.
However, only a handful of states still allow these types of lawsuits, such as North Carolina and Mississippi. Most states – including Georgia – have abolished them, viewing them as outdated and often misused.
In North Carolina, you can sue your spouse civilly for intention infliction of emotional distress, based on the harm done to you by their adultery. But not all states allow this between a husband and wife – see the next section for more info.
Ask a local family law attorney in your state to find out for sure what your options are.
Can You Sue Your Spouse for Emotional Distress?
Experiencing infidelity in a marriage can lead to significant emotional distress.
However, suing your spouse for emotional distress caused by their cheating is generally not an option.
In most states (including Georgia), you cannot sue your spouse for emotional distress that occurred during your marriage due to the doctrine of interspousal immunity. This legal concept protects spouses from suing each other for tortious acts committed during the marriage.
But as we’ve seen – you can sue for this in North Carolina.
Can You Sue a Person for Cheating with Your Spouse in Georgia?
No – in Georgia, the law does not allow for alienation of affection lawsuits (aka, suing the person your spouse cheated on).
So, even if your spouse was unfaithful, you would not be able to sue the person they cheated with.
Can I Sue the Man That Slept with My Wife?
Again, this depends on where you live.
In the few states that still allow alienation of affection lawsuits, you could potentially sue the man who slept with your wife.
However, these cases are often difficult to prove and require substantial evidence of the affair and its detrimental impact on your marriage.
What Happens in a Divorce When a Spouse Cheats?
Cheating can undoubtedly complicate divorce proceedings.
In some states, adultery can affect the division of marital assets or alimony awards.
However, in no-fault divorce states, the courts usually don’t consider infidelity when dividing assets or determining custody arrangements.
What about Georgia? If the reason you are divorcing your spouse is because they cheated, then you can add “adultery” as grounds for your divorce. But, the only thing this really does is block the cheating spouse from collecting alimony from the faithful spouse.
Other than that, you’d have to show that your spouse’s adultery negatively affected or harmed the children, in order for it to help you win custody – which could happen, but it is not an automatic “win” for you, in Georgia.
Alienation of Affection Georgia
Like we said before, Georgia does not recognize alienation of affection lawsuits.
So even if you believe your spouse’s lover caused the breakdown of your marriage, you wouldn’t be able to pursue a lawsuit against them in this state.
You can still divorce your spouse and use adultery as the grounds or basis for the divorce. If you want to know more about how adultery will affect your divorce case, contact a local divorce attorney.
While the pain of infidelity is intense, the legal avenues available to you are limited and vary significantly depending on your location.
Always consult with a local divorce attorney to understand what actions you can take based on your individual circumstances.
Remember, legal decisions should be guided by sound advice and not solely driven by emotional reactions.