Welcome to the first in what we hope to be a continuing series called "Ethical Dilemma of the Week," in which we try to make sense out of strange P. quandaries that lawyers may or may not find themselves in.
Marital misconduct can include abandonment and “illicit sexual behavior.” A former spouse could use evidence of your relationship, similar to the “alienation of affection” and “criminal conversion” claims, to argue that you are at fault for ending the marriage and deserve less financial support.
You’ve moved out, gotten your own place, and you’re starting to think about moving on with your life.
You’re starting to notice other people when you go out and want someone to spend time with, someone who appreciates your company. While this may sound like a good idea, there are several problems to consider.
For “alienation of affection”, a defendant can prove that no love and affection existed between the husband and wife.
Another defense exists under General Statute 52-13, which allows a defendant to prove that an act giving rise to the claim for “alienation of affection” or “criminal conversion” occurred after the date of separation.
Once representation is complete, the client isn't a client anymore, so lawyers in ABA Model Rule jurisdictions should be free to date to their hearts' content.