advertisement
Question
Posted by: Samantha | 2010/07/01

Infidelity

Hi I have been seeing a married man now for a few months who told me he intends on getting divorced but is not in the financial position right now to go ahead with it. He told me he is not staying in the same house as his family but in the " granny"  flat in their yard and is going to start divorce proceedings within the next 6 months. As a result we have kept our relationship a secret pending the divorce proceedings. I have now got a phonecall at work from a unknown lady who did not want to identify herself saying she is going to announce my behaviour to my boss and my collegues and is also going to the local newspaper about me. I know what I am doing is wrong but he assured me he is in the process of getting divorce and being human i have developed strong feelings for this man and found it hard to end things. Is this lady allowed to do what she intends on doing? I know I have infringed on the wife''s marital rights but do i have any rights in respect of defamation of character against this anonomous woman should she make trouble at my work or go to the newspapers?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

My answer is strictly from a legal perspective. An innocent spouse may bring an action for damages against the third person (the ‘co-defendant’), with whom the adultery was committed; this can be done even if divorce proceedings are not instituted against the other spouse. A third party who was unaware that the other person was married at the time the adultery was committed cannot be sued, as the action is based on a deliberate interference with the consortium (the right of association of a husband and a wife). Damages are awarded on the basis of the insult caused to the innocent party and of the loss of consortium. Compensation can be claimed for financial loss caused by break-up of the marriage, as well as for the loss of the affection. A court will consider the spouse’s financial and social situation, their moral reputation and the state of the relationship before the adultery was committed. When an innocent spouse’s behaviour was partly responsible for driving his or her partner into another person’s arms, the damages awarded can be considerably lower.

If the co-respondent behaves particularly callously towards the innocent partner - for example, if she entices a husband away from his wife and lives openly with him, pretending to be his wife damages will be increased. An action for damages may be brought by the innocent party only within three years of learning about the adultery of his or her partner otherwise the claim would be nullified as a consequence of prescription.

Regarding the phone call, you may have resource in interdicting the person, if you knew her identity as her conduct infringes on your right to privacy also, I does not seem that you were the cause of the breakdown of the marriage and thus any claim against you may be very hard to prove.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

6
Our users say:
Posted by: Hurt | 2010/07/09

I am the wife of 28 years and Im telling you tha the pain and suffering are unbelievable. My entire universe has been torn apart, my children who are now adults devastated with the loss of their family unit. It is truely the cruelest thing that two totally selfish and self centered people can do. It is inhumane to cause this anguish and not be accountable for your own actions. How you can sleep at night amazes me...I know we cant !! WHY would you ever want to inflict pain like this ? Walk away and ask him to have the balls to seek councilling.

Reply to Hurt
Posted by: Hi | 2010/07/07

I was in the same position as you. We are married now, but I found out only after many years of being with him that he had lied to me and they were happyly married. It was terrible to realize that I had part in this family being hurt. Please, please walk away now. I would tell the woman if she calls again that you were not aware that he was married and leave him. You are setting yourself up for a life of mistrust and heart ache as well as fighting and accusations, always looking over your shoulder and checking up on him. I wish I had seen the truth back then and could go back and told him to leave me alone when she first called me and told me to stay away from him but He said that she was crazy and there marriage was over long before me. It then became a battle of wills and eventually it was pride that keeped me with him. Her threats made me angry and I eventually wanted to walk away but for need to win I couldn''t. I love him now, very much we have been though alot and stuck it out - but if I look back - what I thought was love then was only lust and pride not to loose a MAN to another woman - HIS WIFE? PLEASE don''t make the same mistake I have. You can meet someone else and be happier with them.

Reply to Hi
Posted by: family law expert | 2010/07/03

My answer is strictly from a legal perspective. An innocent spouse may bring an action for damages against the third person (the ‘co-defendant’), with whom the adultery was committed; this can be done even if divorce proceedings are not instituted against the other spouse. A third party who was unaware that the other person was married at the time the adultery was committed cannot be sued, as the action is based on a deliberate interference with the consortium (the right of association of a husband and a wife). Damages are awarded on the basis of the insult caused to the innocent party and of the loss of consortium. Compensation can be claimed for financial loss caused by break-up of the marriage, as well as for the loss of the affection. A court will consider the spouse’s financial and social situation, their moral reputation and the state of the relationship before the adultery was committed. When an innocent spouse’s behaviour was partly responsible for driving his or her partner into another person’s arms, the damages awarded can be considerably lower.

If the co-respondent behaves particularly callously towards the innocent partner - for example, if she entices a husband away from his wife and lives openly with him, pretending to be his wife damages will be increased. An action for damages may be brought by the innocent party only within three years of learning about the adultery of his or her partner otherwise the claim would be nullified as a consequence of prescription.

Regarding the phone call, you may have resource in interdicting the person, if you knew her identity as her conduct infringes on your right to privacy also, I does not seem that you were the cause of the breakdown of the marriage and thus any claim against you may be very hard to prove.

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: Also saying | 2010/07/02

Yes this person can call you a homewrecker, other woman what ever cause it is the truth. The wife can also make a civil case against you for breaking up her marriage.

Stay away from this man untill he can show you his divorce decree.

I''m prepared to take you a bet that there are no divorce proceedings and that he is lying to you just as he is lying to his wife. Why do you think he will be completely honest with you when he lies to the woman he vowed to love and honour and the mother of his children?

Reply to Also saying
Posted by: Samantha | 2010/07/01

Thank you for the advice, i know all of this and i feel terrible for her part, its eating me up everyday. I didnt mean for this to happen, i was in a very low point in my life when this man came into my life and just lifted me up when i had no-one else and now he tells me he doesnt love her and doesnt want to be with her long before he met me already. I feel kind of guilty leaving him now during his divorce proceedings coz he was there for me when i was at my lowest. But yes i know i have to do the right thing, i just wanted to know if this anonymous person had a right to publish stuff about me.

Reply to Samantha
Posted by: just saying! | 2010/07/01

Leave him now, you are taken for a ride and he knows it, tell him to divorce his wife first and when it is finalised he can come back, you will be marked not him and yes I dont blame the lady , she has all the right in the world to this, you have no fact that they are busy with the divorce and he is lying to both of you!
Think long and hard, you deserve better then this and he is always going to have excuses...
Think about your future, you cant have and want that was not yours, he will always run back to her.
you will be labeled a cheapie in the end.you are scratching were you dont want to in the end, put yourself in her shoes..

Reply to just saying!

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement