“I can live without money, but I cannot live without love.”  This sentiment — voiced by Judy Garland, who married five times and boasted a net worth of $20 million at the time of her death — might explain why Keith King does not count himself a victor, even after a judge in North Carolina ordered another man to pay him $8.8 million for wrecking his marriage.

But because of precepts borrowed from English common law, there actually is a dollar amount — $2.2 million in compensatory damages and $6.6 million in punitive damages, according to a decision last week by a Superior Court judge in Durham, N.C. The judge found that an affair lasting more than a year harmed King through criminal conversation, meaning adultery, and alienation of affection, meaning responsibility for marital fracture, typically through enticement.

Alienation of Affection in North Carolina is when someone takes away the affections of one spouse for another destroying the marriage. the state also recognizes the claim of Criminal Conversation, which involves the act of having sex with someone else’s spouse. Check out our family law section for more information

The legal argument is scarcely more intricate than this: He had a happy marriage until someone came along and lured away from his wife.

For more information, see this link. and please contact Shipman & Wright today if we can help you with any of your legal issues.