Can I Sue My Ex for Emotional Distress?

There is almost nothing more emotionally devastating than finding out that your spouse has committed adultery.  Infidelity breaks the bonds that hold a family together because it is a betrayal of the trust between parents and between parents and their children.

Suing Your Ex for Emotional Distress

How to sue your ex for emotional distress after a divorce

 It’s no wonder that many people get really angry and vengeful when their spouse betrays their trust.

Was the infliction of emotional distress intentional?

After an emotionally charged breakup that results from discovery that their spouse has cheated, some people may turn to marital tort law as a way to get revenge or save face.

In this case, the spouse that has been cheated on is using the tort law to pursue claims against the other spouse for intentionally inflicting emotional distress. However, proving the other spouse intentionally caused you severe mental distress is not that easy. In fact, before 1993 you could not sue your spouse on a claim such as this but this changed because of the 1993 Twyman v, Twyman case.

Getting Compensated for Emotional Distress

It is difficult to seek compensation under Texas Law for emotional distress in the absence of physical injury.  You have a better chance for winning the case if the negligence that caused the emotional distress was particularly outrageous or horrific.

But insults, criticism or mild oppressions are not considered horrific. For something to be really horrific, it must cross all bounds of decency. That means that behavior that is simply unethical or illegal is not necessarily horrific.

Proving Emotional Distress

You will have to prove that the conduct of your spouse has caused you a requisite level of harm.  Since there is no physical injury, you must show that the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly, and that the action was extreme and outrageous. You must also show that that action caused emotional distress and that the emotional distress is severe.

Another reason is that intentional affliction of distress claims only apply when there is no other tort or law under which to seek recovery. For example, you may not recover emotional distress if you also filed a harassment claim. However, an insightful and dedicated attorney can help you win non-injury emotional distress claims.

What About Severe Emotional Distress?

Some people have won cases by simply pointing out that the behavior of their spouse caused them to take medications to deal with anxiety episodes.

You may also be able to convince the court that your spouse’s behavior was extreme and horrific if it caused difficulty sleeping, eating and so on. In other words, you must show that there was a physical manifestation of emotional harm for you to have any chance of winning the case against your cheating spouse. Arguing that someone’s conduct hurt your feelings or made your children sad may not be considered a strong argument in court.

So it is very important that you consult an attorney if you believe you have been harmed. Your attorney will listen to you and advise you on how to take action and what action is likely to result in a win in court.

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