Can I Sue My Ex-Wife For Damages Caused By The Divorce?

divorce lawsuitBy Nathan A. Hacker

Divorce Lawyer, Cordell & Cordell

Hotly contested divorce and child custody battles are not cheap. There are divorce attorney fees, court costs, travel expenses, lost income from taking off work, and other financial expenses.

But what about the emotional damages inflicted by your ex-wife? If she committed false allegations or denied your visitation rights, can you sue her for damages?

In general, yes you can sue.

Whether you will be successful or the judge will toss your case out of court is a different question altogether.

You may also be required to pay for your ex’s lawyer for filing a frivolous lawsuit. So, you need to be careful before you run to the courthouse with a suit in mind.

A lawyer can help decide whether you have a legitimate case or not.  In large part it will depend on which state you are pursuing your case.

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Can I Appeal?

Generally, if you are seeking damages you will want to look at what actual damages you have incurred and what speculative damages you may have incurred.

Actual damages are costs for which you can put a solid number on. Examples: attorney’s fees, court costs, travel expenses, replacement costs for damaged property is typical actual damages.

Examples of speculative damage are loss of consortium, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, damage to reputation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Many states have restrictions on awards for these types of damages or may not recognize them at all. The more you can document damages the more likely you will be to receive an award.

In many family law cases the award of damages comes in the form of attorney’s fees for being forced to bring something to court that you should not have had to do. Your attorney would be able to provide the cost to the court in those instances.

For example,it is possible to bring a contempt petition for withholding a child against a court order during your parenting time. This would be a situation wherein you may be entitled to receive compensation for attorney’s fees for having to bring the court in when you should not have.

The most important advice I can give is to consult an attorney in your state. You are looking at issues of both tort law and family law.

To set up an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell mens divorce attorney, including Nathan A. Hacker, an Associate Attorney in Indianapolis, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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15 comments on “Can I Sue My Ex-Wife For Damages Caused By The Divorce?

    How about the children becoming less fortunate? Can they sue?
    How about losses to a good husbands lively hood? Most men that are a success are self employed running bussiness efficiently from the house he worked hard to get. He has very little actual living expense as the bussines pays his mortgage. So when he has wife troubles , files for his divorce, she puts him and his bussiness homeless. How can a homeless man pay to relocate bussines , his own place, lawyers, CPA s additional office managers to keep track of his expensive change, and pay all the full non tax detectable expense of his old house?

    He fires as many workers as possible. Down sizes at all the wrong times. Custermers are lost for ever. And his poor kids go from having a successful wonderful father to a degraded man that’s struggling . The wife then turns everyone she can against him including and pro woman in his own family. Also her and her attorney start trying to prove everything in his bussiness is profit. Meanwhile no one ever even looks at her income or bank records.

    The outcome also ends with the husband always paying her attorney fees. Along with alimony and child support.

    The children suffer long term financial damages.. So can they not sue??? And why is this allowed in our country? Why are women never held accountable ???

    I am the wife , 55 years old and an unemployed teacher looking for work. my husband made false claims in divorce court and lied. We were married 26 years, but he lied an said we were separated for 10 of those years. I lost everything! I didn’t even get spousal support. The judge believed everything my husband and his lawyer said. I incurred $350,000 in lawyer fees, which he wasn’t ordered to pay any part of! He incurred 700,000 in fees. my husband makes $500,000 per year. He has refused to help our sons college expenses and medical expenses, we have two sons with type I diabetes. The judge ordered sale of home and has ordered me to pay my husband $3,500 a month rent knowing I can’t afford it! There are lawyer liens on home so I will get no $. My boys and I have to find an apartment to move to. I am scared. My husband is diabolical. Right now he lives in an upscale apartment with a woman 37 years younger than he. So, women get screwed over, too! It all depends on the lawyers, the judge and if one party has a personality disorder. From my experience, more women are getting raked over the coals in cities where there is high income. Did you know that the highest demographic in poverty is middle aged women?

    How do I stop her?
    Yes, what you just said is exactly the situation that I’m in. I have an ex (scientist) who has her attorneys paid for by her legal aid at her prestigious work location. She has kept me in court since 2009 non-stop and will not stop harassing me as a self employed guy. Constantly trying to prove that all of my money is complete income. She makes close to $90,000 per year plus endless legal perks and is pissed off because she didn’t like my business. She put an injunction against me so that I could not have the kids around when I conducted any business so I sold it, the very asset that was paying her child support. She then got upset because she could no longer afford the most expensive private school in town. I purchased another business which ultimately failed so now I’m pretty much broke, nearly homeless, and she has had me in court every single month for the past 11 months at least 2 times per month. When will this stop? Please make it stop. I have attorney bills now far greater than I can afford and she knows it, I can hardly afford gas and food. I’m only trying to see my kids like a normal father and pay child support that does not exceed my current monthly income. Unfortunately that is the sad truth at the moment. I feel that my kids are getting the sad end of the stick because she filed temporary orders against me seeing them until I can afford a better place but how do I do that when she keeps me in court ALL the time literally? Any suggestions?

    settle fast
    there is one rule men need to understand, in this country they have almost no rights against women. there’s nothing a man can do against a vindictive woman so the best option is to cut the losses and settle fast.

    the laws are rigged so the longer a man fights the deeper he gets. settle fast and get as much distance from her as you can. don’t talk to her, don’t email her, don’t call her, don’t answer her. don’t even look at her. nothing.

    YES…the best advice is to stay the F— AWAY FROM HER. My ex does not live in the same town, and i always say “I never want to get within 1000 miles of the bitch.” She CANNOT let it go….I have her blocked from my cell (no calls or texts). She can only contact me via email or my home landline, because she is THAT bad. (Aside: It always strikes me as odd when i see divorced people being “friendly”.) SHE IS NO LONGER YOUR FRIEND. And unless it has to do with the well-being of your minor kids…you do not need to speak one word to her. I NEVER let her engage me in conversation because she ALWAYS has an ulterior motive (and you must always assume that).

    – Also terminate contact with people who she associates with or has regular contact with… No need to give her any more access to you than necessary.

    – Lastly, keep money in the bank to fend off her legal attacks….I never know when she is coming at me…So I unfortunately have to be always prepared.


    All lies
    I found out that my soon to be ex. Has had a 10 year affair and every one in her family knew. I don’t know why but they always do what ever crazy thing she wants. I was mentally tortured and abused The family of the gut firmly believes my firs boy is his. It’s funny how there was many more gifts and same people. My sons God father is related to the guy so I guess we know why she chose him. I did not wish to Dna test him four months ago. Well I did but was accused of domestic violence and had to put all my energy money in to it. Truth is. Regardless of the test he’s my son. I was there always. He’s a coward. Who to the day won’t show hiz face. I will test just for medical reasons but he’s mine. He even looks like me. A lot. But I find it very hard to b normal. It’s always there. She won’t answer anyangthing. Just says am crazy. It’s. Amazing how much planing they did to plan out events. Like my Childs baptism. Witch he’s there. Only reason I found out. I s the tape. A tape that never existed. She set It up that day. And ln the end she said I dont know at happen. Didn’t record. Can I sew them. I want my kids away from them all. Is scary to think what that could do to him. Me am broken a total mess. I don’t function well. Am always just picking my brain. Wishing I knew why. Or what was real. I actually got help with shrink and after fur doctors they said it is not made up. My reason. To think all this is life time of events that just all come together. Sad. But no one cares. It’s like am a rag. No one uses.

    I would just be repeating what everyone already said. I’m in the same boat as the rest of you guys and I’m sure their are many more that’s getting shit on by the people we busted our ass for and considered our life long partner till death we part. I have known a lot of good men who put themselves aside to provide the best life possible. Busting ass for years just to be shit on when we are older and looking forward to a good retirement with the ones we love. I had a booming business and life was good. Then the bitch went out with friends and was caught with her pants down. I filed for divorce for other reasons as well. Amazing how I’m the one broke and homeless. Her life hasn’t changed. My suggestion to anyone who wants to get married, weather she likes it or not. Get a full proof contract drawn up by a good attorney before you say I DO!!!! If she won’t sign then you need to say I DON’T, just move on. Times have changed and our domestic laws are way out dated. No offense to anyone but women didn’t change the laws in favor of them by just sitting around complaining. There will be no change to update our laws till men does something about it. My Ex lied about everything in court and somehow got away with it. It’s unbelievable and like a nightmare for me. I lost everything. I’m presently being charged with a number of contempt charges cause I refuse to abide by the courts ridiculous decisions. If I give in then it would make me look like the liar and a loser. I can’t agree to that when she somehow got away with it. I will be going to jail for nearly a year. I’m standing firm. I’m homeless now anyway so the county can just feed and house me. Nothing will ever change until men start bitching louder than the home wrecking no good bitches Men its time to stand up for what you believe. I apologize for the long post but this crap needs to end.

    My husband lied about everything in court! His lawyer slandered my name and accused me of things I did not do. He played dirty and lied on the stand many times over. His lawyer was friends with the judge! Don’t hate women and don’t lump all women together. There are many more women than men who are losing in divorce court in epic proportions. The media just doesn’t report it! My husband is walking away with millions and I am left homeless and penniless. At 55, it will be very difficult to recoup what we saved during our 26 year marriage . I can’t appeal because I don’t have the money. The judges have too much power. Their rulings should not be made on who they think is credible!!! Psychopaths are believable liars! Laws have to change and judges should not be allowed to use their discretion when making rulings!!!

    Hi Lola
    I went through a very similar divorce in 2007 after being married & being a stay at home mom & homemaker so that my husband could focus only on his career & advancement. my husband took over a million as well , let our house go into foreclosure ; of which the judge had awarded me along with all the past due bills that went with it. My husband took me to trial & he & his lawyer slandered me right & left as my lawyer just sat there looking down . During the divorce my lawyer did no discoveries of our assets though I provided him names , documents & finacial institutions , estimated figures as well as financial adviser info. I had to keep hiding my car because my husband was trying to have it repossessed he said that I had no business driving around in an expensive car (there was only $7K left to pay it off which he didn’t want to have to do) I had my lawyer paid in full $10K going into court for basically doing NOTHING but running his mouth to me that my case was the easiest case of which he’d ever handled & it was a sure win; in court he said NOTHING just sat there mute looking away from me allowing my husband & his lawyer to slander me as a wife, mother & person. My husband having an affair was even presented to make him look good & me bad. My lawyer never said anything , no objections or anything to protect me just let the lies fly & me be defamed . The judge ruled in the favor of my husband , gave me the $500K going into foreclosure & the past due bills though I had no job or money; my husband made 6figure income & bonuses. My husband even cleaned out my ROTH under false pretenses etc etc. I ended homeless bouncing around living with friends & family for 1.5yrs trying to find a job.
    Here’s the real kicker , after the trial my lawyer stated that I owed him ANOTHER
    $ 10K (as if he earned the 1st $10K) & was only concerned when he would get it & me not having a penny to my name at that point said that I could ask for the money from my mom or dad.
    2010 4yrs after my divorced my attorney sued me for the 2nd $10K. I live paycheck to paycheck & had no money to afford an attorney & legal fees to fight. He got a judgment against me for the $10K. 2013 my divorce filed to take me to trial. 2015 my divorce attorney retained another lawyer to come after me to collect from the judgment & had added 18% interest and wanting $35K . I had talked to several lawyers & when you don’t have money for legal fees non will help. I was told the only thing I could & should do was to file bankruptcy . The attorney for my divorce attorney served a writ of garnishment on my savings & checking accounts & cleaned out both accounts sept 2015, every penny I had to live on. I almost lost everything again; my stepfather paid my rent , utilities & bankruptcy so that I wouldn’t. I also hid my car again. After the lawyer took all that I had in the bank I recieved a document stating to consider that a down payment & I could pay $500 mths for the 1st 12mths & then re-evaluate
    & that if I didn’t agree to terms all my personal possessions & car would be taken too. The bankruptcy finally put an end to it all ( I hope ) this all occurring during the 8 yrs after my divorce. From a divorce lawyer who allowed my ex-husband to financially rape & slander me. I still feel that my ex paid off my lawyer for the outcome & the continued suits after. In the meanwhile my ex-husband has been living a lovely cushy 6figure lifestyle still planning to retire at 55yrs living in a beautiful home remarried & she’s living from part of my blood sweat tears & sacrifices from 25yrs of marriage. I was married to him from age 18-42yrs raised to beautiful girls who are amazing young women now.
    I’m still living paycheck to paycheck trying putting my life back together hoping that now after 8yrs it’s finally all behind me & over.
    I won’t go into how & what I feel about divorce lawyers , judges & the judicial system. Its not just & fair , even when you have the evidence . It’s about money ,greed & who has the money & can payoff to win

    I just found out ny partner of three yrs has been cheating on me since Oct 15, 2014. I once again found thru FB, and when i confronted her and told her she was busted and lied about everything, her response, was she lied about nothing. Thats funny because when i asked her about her 1st ex husband being at her daughter’s 16th bday, she said no, just her half sisters, when i asked bout her going to see fifty shades by herself, then dinner then home, she lied, her 1st ex husband was there, she lied about telling me she wanted to give more to me in the relationship, that was lie, she wanted to marry me, yet another lie. I supported her for three years, got proof, gave part of my check to her, shows on my pay stub. i want to sue her for financial distress because i lived in my truck the whole time i supported her. She lives on welfare, ssi and whatever that loser 1st ex husband pays in child support. What kind of lawyer do i need?

    What about the husband that had nothing and married for money? He took it ALL after gradually degrading me for over 12 years. I had a great career and a house.. He had NOTHING!

    After getting me pregnant he had sex with women and men, abused me and our children and used all of US.

    Poor men that are liars and cheaters and want to blame women for their failure to control themselves!

    I am college educated, had a ton of money, put my ex through school and he makes over $500K a year. I am broke and pay child support for a man that beat me and used me and our children.

    Living out of my car now.

    Tell me how many months you carried a child in you or the risks you took to your own health to do so. None! You had 3 seconds of a muscle spasm!

    Hi I was married for 40 years good wife and mother, worked hard all my life! However my husband has lost me everything, properties business walk away from company when it was in administration! And took my clients and started again on his own, I don’t no if this is legal to do so, lost me my home now I am homeless, he had a Directors loan in his name, not mine which all the proceeds of the assets went to administration. I was awarded 50p a year how can this be as he was the one destroyed everything. Call this justice. If it was not for me he would had nothing.

    Yes my wife took off with out me knowing and I have not seen rhem in 12 years now I miss my boys every much she won’t let me see them are talk to them I pay my childsupport every week .and I am in meds from that I stay depressed where I can’t even want to work please tell I miss my kids so bad

    Need legal input.
    My husband is to blame equally but his ex-girlfriend or girlfriend is still harassing me. Married 24 years.
    Police have been called. Recent Example:
    She parked outside my home and demanded that my husband watch her commit suiciide.
    my husband admitted to unprotected sex, I was infected with Herpes 2.
    This was from direct contact from placing cream to heal a painful blister my husband had after infection.
    This girlfriend is worth 5 million. Verified.
    Perhaps it is better to file here in my state.
    Is there any damages I can collect from her?
    Thank you.

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