Stealing Affections

By Patrick Appel

Solangel Maldonado is wary of laws that allow individuals to sue "any person who wrongfully interferes with a person's marriage, thereby causing that person to lose his or her spouse’s affection." Maldonado's question: courts that continue to entertain these claims know something I do not? These courts have reasoned that “[w]hen a third person is at fault for the breakdown of a marriage, the law ought to provide a remedy.” Norton v. Macfarlane (Utah 1991). Yet, given the complexity of human relationships, how exactly is a jury supposed to determine who is responsible for the breakdown of a marriage?