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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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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12 Comments on "Can I Sue My Ex-Wife For Damages Caused By The Divorce?"

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4 months 22 days ago

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.

6 months 15 days ago


6 months 15 days ago

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

7 months 10 days ago
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… Read more »
1 year 2 months ago
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… Read more »
Lie to
1 year 6 months ago
All liesI 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… Read more »
3 years 1 month ago

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.

3 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
Johnny Fleming
3 years 5 months ago
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… Read more »
1 year 2 months ago
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,… Read more »
1 year 1 month ago
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… Read more »
1 year 2 months ago
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… Read more »