Can I sue my ex-husband for emotional, physical, financial distress?
(Salt Lake City, UT)
My story is long but I will make it very short. My husband unexpectedly left my 3 children and myself without any notice. I ended up having to short sale my nice home and also close down my new business I had just opened just 3 months before he left. I lost a lot of money closing down my business and it could have been a nice future income for myself.
I had to move across the valley with my kids and force them to start new schools and friends. I had to sell most of our belongings too. It was very emotional. I had severe depression after closing down my business and selling my home. My children also had depression and suicidal tendencies.
My ex took me to court 3 more times afterwards trying to blame ME for the reason his children didn't want to talk or see him. This lasted for 2 years and was very stressful and emotional also. I had to spend a lot of money on 4 different attorneys.
After the final court battle, I ended up in the hospital because I had a stroke (I'm only 47), due to my declining health and stress from the divorce and legal battles. I had developed many health issues because of this: depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, stroke, etc.
I take 12 medications daily for these things and before all this, I had zero medications and was in very good health. My kids also didn't take meds and now they are all on anti-depressants.
I have tons of debt from therapy sessions for myself and my children, their medical bills, and also my hospital bills. Plus I have debts from my business that I had to end early (he was my business partner, but got out of all liability for it).
My ex has put me and my children through hell over the last 4 years and he has left me poor, with many problems to still work out as a result. He makes a lot of money and is already re-married with the woman he left us for. I would like compensation for my distresses and for getting my life turned upside down. Is there anything I can do? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Can I sue my ex-husband for emotional, physical, financial distress?":
Tonya (Salt Lake City, UT):
While it will be a challenge to succeed in an action against your ex-husband, there is a manner in which you may be able to seek additional compensation. Under Rule 106 of Utah's Statutes, your divorce decree may be modified.
Rule 106 - Modification of Final Domestic Relations Order
Rule 106 (a)(b)(1) states in part, "The court may make the modification (to your divorce decree) retroactive to the date on which the petition was served. During the pendency of a petition to modify, the court may order a temporary modification of child support as part of a temporary modification of custody or parent-time."
In an effort to seek additional compensation by means of a modification of your divorce decree, speak with an attorney whose practice is concentrated in domestic relations, child custody, and divorce. Your attorney may be able to successfully petition the court to increase any alimony or child support.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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