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Jack R.
Jack R., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6147
Experience:  OH/TX Practicing Attorney focusing on Family Law, Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant Issues.
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Long time not talk to. You helped me with a defamation case

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Long time not talk to. You helped me with a defamation case that we ended up settling in June. Now I have another situation that I need advice for. My husband and I have been separated since April. Long story but suffice it to say that my husband is a narcissist and our marriage of 26 years was an incredible struggle and I finally had to distance myself from him and push a separation which will ultimately end in divorce after a year apart (North Carolina law). I received a call today from a private investigator who asked me if I would be willing to speak with the lawyer of a Dr. (Radiologist) whose wife (Physician Assistant) has been having an affair with my husband (Physician Assistant). My husband and this woman work for the same Dermatology Practice. The PI seemed to surprised that I did not know about this particular affair and asked me if I had a lawyer, which I do not, and said that if I had a lawyer that this Dr.'s lawyer would have to talk to my lawyer instead of talking to me. I told him that I would meet with him this Thursday but I want to ask you if there is something I need to be careful of. Even though I have very good reason to suspect my husband of having affairs over the years, getting this phone call is terribly surreal and I need to know if there is something I should know before meeting with this private detective. Thank you.

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My gut feel in this situation is to have an attorney go with you or turn down the request. The request seems odd, and the manner the request was made is also abnormal.


You need to be careful. North Carolina is one of a few states that allow lawsuits against parties for "Alienation of Affection". This works 2 ways a jilted spouse can sue your husband for damages, and/or you can sue the other party's spouse for damages. It really depends on who pursued who, and if your husband has a history of chasing women this will not work out well.


In the first case if you support the fact that your husband ruins marriages the other side may be able to file suit and get damages from your husband which of course will decrease the marital estate.


Conversely if you tell the other side your marriage was already broken then you will not be able to request damages from the other party if you were so inclined. The other lawyer may be trying to find out what you knew and the current status of your marriage to avoid possible damages later.


If as a witness someone tells you that if you have a lawyer they cannot talk to you, that means you are going to be a party to a lawsuit. What you say can cost you money in or other aggravation in the long run. It has been my experience that lawyers set up their own meetings. The fact a PI is asking you to met with a lawyer is odd to say the least.


My suggestion is that if the attorney wants to speak with you ask your husbands attorney to attend with you, or bring you own attorney along with you. If your statement is really needed they can formally depose you once a lawsuit is filed. Once filed you will be able to ascertain the nature of the legal proceeding, and who the parties are. Given you now know abut the affair you should speak to your husband about what is going on, and whether he is being sued.


The other admittedly remote possibility is that your husband is staging this meeting to try to get information from you in preparation for a divorce. It is possible that although the PI represented to you that the attorney was working for someone else, the attorney is really working for your husband. I know this sounds underhanded, but stranger things have happened. The fact they are asking about you having counsel makes this very suspicious, and it should make you very cautious.


If you do attend the Thursday meeting make sure you understand who the attorney represents from the attorney himself, and the purpose for your being requested for a meeting. You should also ask why your statements are important for the case.


If you do attend you should not discuss your current relationship with your husband, You should not discuss his other extra-marital affairs. If asked indicate that is better answered by your husband. Keep in mind that if you talk to the attorney you may compromise your spousal privilege at a trial or hearing.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, the person who this PI named is someone I know my husband has been spending time with and, when I googled my husband's name and her name together, he showed up as her guest at her College Reunion in Illinois last month. So, I do think that there is validity to the claim. He says he has texts, love letters, and video and that my husband and this woman plan to end up together. Unfortunately, during the conversation I did mention that he and I were separated but I did not say anything about other extra-marital affairs.

This PI texted me that they are on my side in this and that the fact that my husband has been having this affair since before our separation means alimony for me. Frankly, as a dependent spouse and homemaker for most of our 26 year marriage, I thought there would be alimony any way. You have given me a lot to think about here. I feel that it would be difficult for me to simply ignore the request to meet. I guess I could hire an attorney, but the PI asked me not to mention anything about this to my husband. I don't know how I would hire a lawyer without my husband knowing. So, to clarify, you are stating that if I show up at this meeting without a lawyer, I should only do so with the intent to find out what they are looking for from me and not share any information with them?

If you attend the meeting you should speak only of the current affair. You can talk about what you know with respect to the relationship your husband had with the other women. Do not talk about your family finances, your husband's past, and try to stay away from the state of your marriage. Keep in mind they could have questioned your husband directly but instead chose to speak with you even though you had no knowledge of what was occurring. If the purpose of the meeting is only to confirm your husband was having an affair then you can answer questions relating to that.


I only suggest that you need to be cautious.




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