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This Valentine’s Day, you might want to think twice before giving flowers or candy to someone else’s wife — especially if you live in one of seven states that still recognizes the “alienation of affection” law.

 

The law, which dates back to 17th Century England, allows spurned lovers to sue homewreckers. Legal experts say it’s based on the outdated notion that a man “owns” his wife’s affections; so anyone who takes that away would be stealing from him. While most U.S. states no longer recognize the archaic law, seven never got around to removing it from their books. Just last year a man was awarded $8.8 million when he sued his wife’s boyfriend. And in 2011, a woman took her hubby’s mistress to the cleaners, winning a whopping $30 million.

 

The states that still recognize the alienation of affection law are Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Dakota and Utah.

 

Do you think all states should recognize the law? Should cheating be a criminal offense?