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Well That’s My Wife, Fiancée or Girlfriend: I Am [NOT!] Going to Sue Him For That! Maybe?

In matters of the heart, about every domestic attorney has heard a truly sad story about someone breaking up a relationship. In some cases, there may be a legal remedy to address the matter. Novel to mainstream remedies includes defamation lawsuits to seeking a protective order.

However, there are limits on statutory and/or common law cases that were once permitted. So what you think may be actionable and result in a court victory may not be so clear after all. There are four civil or criminal acts of yesteryear that are now prohibited.

The first is the breach of a promise to marry. In most respects, particularly where an engagement ring is involved, this is a contract. However, a statute now prohibits a case for “breach of a promise to marry.” The potential husband or wife may be able to obtain any ring or other gift or token of love given as consideration for this agreement to marry.

Another tort that used to be allowed, primarily for a man to seek recovery money from another man is alienation of affections. Alienations of affections would be demonstrated in the past by showing a person interfered in the relationship and caused the woman to be attracted to someone else.

An old criminal act related to relationships, affairs and sexual relations is “criminal conversation.” This is no longer a criminal act. However, depending on the situation most of the former actionable matters in this blog have modern counter parts. In this case, there is the crime of soliciting a prostitute.

Finally, it is no longer a crime to seduce a female eighteen (18) years of age or older.1 A proverbial one-night-stand is nothing more than that under current law. However, and again, legal actionable matters related to any of these may constitute another cause of action or crime. Such analysis is what attorneys and judges spend their professional lives working on.

This blog post is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. and is for general educational purposes only. It is not legal advice, or solicitation for legal services. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys handle civil and criminal appeals from all Indiana state trial courts, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, or United States Supreme Court.

  1. Ind.Code 34-12-2-1 (causes of action abolished).

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Dixon & Moseley, P.C., is a law firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve clients in six core practice areas: family lawappellate practicefirearms lawgeneral practicepersonal injury and criminal law.

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