Can I sue my spouse’s boyfriend or girlfriend?

How To Get Even With The Person Your Spouse Is Having an Affair With

Unfortunately, spouses sometimes cheat on each other. When this happens, the cheated upon spouse comes to see me. Not only do they want to know if they can get a divorce on the ground of adultery, but they also want to know if they can sue the person with whom their spouse cheated. In other words, can they get money from the person who broke up their marriage? This type of lawsuit is called an alienation of affection suit, but in South Carolina such suits are not allowed.

However, what most people (including lawyers and judges) are not aware of is a state law that allows the family court to put some pressure on the boyfriend or girlfriend (a “paramour”). Under S.C. Code Sec. 63-3-530(19), a family court judge can make a paramour part of the marital litigation and can issue an order preventing that person from continuing to see the cheating spouse until the case is over. Although, such an order may not be as satisfying as getting money from the paramour, it at least keeps the cheating spouse and the paramour apart for awhile. If they do not stay apart, then the court hold them in contempt and put them in jail, fine them, and/or make them serve community service.

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law