Children Cannot Sue for Alienation of Affections

“Alienation of affections” is a court-created claim in Mississippi for spouses to sue the lover of their spouse for ruining the marriage. Most states have dropped this claim, but Mississippi has held onto it on the public policy grounds of “protecting the marriage relationship.” Fitch v. Valentine, 959 So. 2d 1012, 1020 (Miss 2007).

Enterprising lawyers recently tried to stretch this claim to children (obviously looking for more sympathy and a higher jury award), but the Supreme Court said, “No.” The claim does not extend to the children who lost a two-parent family as a result. The court reasoned that if children were allowed to make such claims, they would become their parent's pawns to seek revenge. Brent v. Mathis, No. 2013-MA-01074-SCT (11/06/14)

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