AN ANTIQUE LAW SENDS TREMORS THROUGH MANY A HEART

Last week, when a North Carolina woman successfully sued her husband's lover for wrecking their marriage, it gave the current national recalculation of the costs of divorce a new bottom line. Lawyers have a word for it. They call these "heart-balm" cases, the heart being the injured party, the balm in this case a cool, soothing $1 million.

The melodrama was set in Burlington, N.C., a small town about 20 miles from Greensboro, where Dorothy Hutelmyer was twice president of the PTA, her husband Joseph coached baseball and ran Seaboard Underwriters, and Lynne Cox worked as his secretary. The Hutelmyers' was...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!