For a very long time, it was legally impossible to sue a spouse for personal injury. However, most of those laws have been overturned as of the 20th century. There are a number of ways to handle a personal injury caused by a spouse, and here are some options you could take.
While it may be a difficult financial hit for you, if you don’t want to involve an attorney because you are on good terms with your spouse, you do not have to. This is especially true if the injury was accidental or not the result of abuse or mistreatment.
Consider Your Situation
If you or your spouse has a diagnosed mental health disorder, it is entirely possible social workers might visit your home and check up on your kids. On the other hand, that diagnosis can also make it easier to prove a spouse caused you emotional duress. Physical abuse is easy to prove in court. Emotional or mental duress is a lot more difficult to prove. If you and/or your children are the victims of abuse, do not hesitate to reach out to a professional with a master’s degree in social work for help.
Consult an Attorney
Consulting an attorney early in the process is always advised in order to give you a thorough understanding of the options you have available to you. Ask for recommendations and look up credentials to find a qualified personal injury attorney. You will likely be filing what is known as a tort, or civil action against an individual. If the personal injury was intentional, it’s also possible the case could end up in criminal court.
Waiting until after a divorce has occurred or some time has passed since the incident will make matters more difficult to settle. It is best to settle any personal injury suit along with the divorce proceedings. In some cases, it is even required that the tort accompany the divorce proceedings, though in others it can wait. But filing one lawsuit instead of two is generally a lot cheaper.
It can be a confusing, painful, tough time when you’ve suffered an injury caused by a spouse or ex-spouse and there are a number of ways to handle it. You might decide to manage it yourselves, settle out of court, attach personal injury compensation to a divorce proceeding or pursue a personal injury suit on its own. However you decide to handle it, ultimately do what is best for you and your family.
Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.