Man sues church for allegedly breaking up his marriage

Divorce can happen for any number of reasons, but for one North Carolina man the reason was simple; the pastor of the church his wife attended drove her to divorce him. The man has filed a lawsuit against a Quaker church in Snow Camp, NC, claiming that the pastor of the church began spending an inordinate amount of time alone with his wife and eventually caused her to seek a divorce.

The plaintiff, a 74-year-old man who had been married for 30 years before the divorce occurred, is alleging personal injuries and seeking $180,000 in actual damages and $10 million in punitive damages against the congregation. He claims his wife paid the majority of the household bills, and without her financial contribution he is now financially unstable.

North Carolina does recognize the tort of alienation of affection, which happens when an interloper, in this case the pastor, causes a married person to terminate their marriage. This case in particular may not fit the bill, since the tort generally can only be brought against an individual, and the plaintiff has fingered the congregation, not the pastor himself, as the defendant. The case may go to trial later this month if it is not dismissed before then.

Divorce is always difficult, even if it's ultimately for the best in the long run. There is always the possibility that emotions can get the best of people, causing them to act erratically and place blame erroneously, when sometimes there is no one to blame.

Source: Christian Post, "Man Blames Church for Wife's Divorce; Files $10 Million Lawsuit," Katherine Weber, Feb. 1, 2013

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