Can I Sue the Person Who Broke Up My Marriage?

No, unless you live in South Dakota, Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina or Utah. This past week, South Dakota’s House Judiciary Committee voted to maintain a measure that allows spurned spouses to sue individuals who disrupt their marriages.  According to the Associate Press, the decision extended a century-old provision that permitted a husband to sue another man who tempted his wife into “alienation of affection.” In 2002, that law was broadened to apply to women. California long ago statutorily abolished such lawsuits. Similarly, in many states including California, the “anti-heart balm” statutes state you cannot sue for a breach of a promise to marry or for the breakup of your marriage. So, if your relationship or marriage ends, seek the advice from a lawyer of your rights based upon contract law, community property or marital property and support laws need to be evaluated. The emotion of losing a relationship can be gut-wrenching, but in most states, there are no civil or criminal damages related to mere ending of a relationship.