Typically, you may seek compensation for any injuries caused by the negligent actions of another person or entity. However, the law is not always clear when it comes to seeking compensation if the person who caused your injuries is a former spouse. In the past, a husband and wife were considered to be one person from a legal perspective. While the laws have changed, how they are applied today may not always be consistent.
Does Interspousal Tort Immunity Still Apply?
Up until a few years ago, a husband and wife were considered to be one person in the eyes of the law, as an experienced divorce lawyer Phoenix AZ relies on can explain. Therefore, there was no way that they could sue each other. The law was designed to protect marital harmony and to protect the privacy of children or other family members who may have been involved in a domestic dispute. However, this concept no longer applies in any federal, state, or local jurisdiction.
How Do Courts Treat Claims Against Former Spouses?
While you may be able to sue your former spouse, a court might still be reluctant to rule in your favor. This may be especially true if you are trying to claim that your former spouse caused you to suffer from emotional distress. As a general rule, almost anyone who has been in a marriage has suffered from mental anguish even when a marriage is generally happy and mutually fulfilling.
What Types of Claims Can Be Made?
Typically, a spouse may make a claim that he or she was the victim of assault or battery. It is also possible to make a claim of false imprisonment or economic fraud. This could occur if a spouse stole money or committed identity theft using a spouse’s personal information without his or her knowledge and consent.
How Do You Prove Negligence?
In any personal injury case, it is critical that you can prove that the former spouse acted in a negligent manner. For instance, you may be able to show that your ex punched you while you were pregnant or had unprotected sex with you despite knowing that he or she had a socially transmitted disease.
This would be considered negligence because it represents an action that your former spouse knew, or should have known, that it could lead to injury or illness.
- In addition to showing that the action was reckless, you have to prove that financial damages occurred as a result of that action. You may be able to do this by introducing copies of medical bills for treatment related to injuries or illnesses caused by a former spouse.
- You may also point to correspondence between yourself and a manager asking for time off to recuperate from an injury or illness caused by a former spouse as proof of lost wages.
If you have been harmed by a former spouse, it is certainly possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against that person. While it may require extraordinary evidence to win the case, an attorney may be able to craft a narrative that convinces a judge or jury to rule in your favor. Talk to a personal injury attorney to find out more about your legal rights and how to protect them.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hildebrand Law for their insight into protecting a personal injury settlement during a divorce.