Friday, March 22, 2013

Alienation of Affection Lawsuits or Suing a Third Party in a Divorce in the State of Texas

 "Alienation of affection" legal questions are always popular legal questions when a spouse is considering a divorce in the State of Texas. 
Unfortunately, the TX legislature eliminated this type of lawsuit many years ago. You can read the TX Family Code which is available on-line for free. Look for Section 1.107. I believe it was eliminated in the State of Texas around 1994.
West's Sampson & Tindall's Texas Family Code Annotated book cites to 2 TX cases - Helena Laboratories Corp. v. Snyder from 1994 (886 S.W.2d 767) and Smith v. Smith  (126 W.W.3d 660) from Houston 14th Dist.Court in 2004. I've not looked up either of these 2 cases.  I assume the 1994 case is the "leading" TX case on point.
Section 1.107 is a very short law "A right of action by one spouse against a third party for alienation of affection is not authorized in this state."
Therefore, such a lawsuit cannot be entertained.  You can certainly file such a lawsuit but it will be dismissed by the judge.  You cannot "get in front" on a judge on such a lawsuit.  There cannot be a hearing or any testimony in front of a judge.  It does not matter how horrible your case is, the judge is not allowed to authorize such a lawsuit.  

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