Family Law: For $500,000 She Can Have My Husband

It sounds like an episode of the Jerry Springer show: Husband suddenly begins "working" late and making midnight phone calls to strange telephone numbers; wife has a private investigator tail her husband to one of their vacant rental homes; husband is caught in the act of cheating on his wife. The title of that episode might be "You've Heard It All Before."

What makes this case interesting is not the sordid love affair between Home Depot co-workers Clay Harrell (the husband) and Beth Carroccio (the mistress). Nor is it the way the two "lovers" were busted when Cindy Harrell (the wife) walked in on the two in a vacant rental home the Harrell's owned. Nor is it the subsequent break up of their marriage and the effect it has had on their toddler son.

When All Else Fails, Sue
So how did Cindy Harrell handle her husband's affair once she discovered what was going on? She didn't pack up her husband's things and throw them out in the street. She didn't threaten to kill his mistress. She didn't blame herself for the affair. Instead she hired an attorney and sued her husband's mistress for "alienation of affection."

Mrs. Harrell's decision to hire an attorney turned out to be a good one. After the suit was filed, Mrs. Carroccio failed to respond to the allegations and a Default Judgment was entered against her for $500,000. Now that is an expensive love affair.

But before you become giddy thinking you have figured out how to get revenge on the other woman, let me point out that this suit was filed in North Carolina (one of the only states that allows suit for alienation of affection). It is reported that the largest verdict for "alienation of affection" in North Carolina to date is $2 million. North Carolina allows jilted spouses to sue not only the mistress, but the spouse's employer if the "lovers" work together and the company does not take steps to stop the affair.

So if you can convince your spouse and his/her mistress to move to North Carolina then let the lawsuit begin. If not, tune in to the Jerry Springer show for some ideas.
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