Everything You Need To Know About Filing A Lawsuit Against Your Spouse

When you fall in love and get married, you and your spouse are not just committing to spend the rest of your natural lives together. The two of you are also entering a legally binding contract between two consenting adults. If you and your spouse are now deciding to go your separate ways, it can be for many reasons. The three biggest issues that lead to divorce are finances, the inability to connect as a couple, and infidelity. These three issues can cause strain on a marriage, but they can also be very costly to your spouse.

What Can You Sue For?

The problem with suing a spouse is that most states do not allow it. Once you and your spouse enter marriage, everything that is collected within the ensuing time frame, including debt, is considered marital property. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as:

  • Domestic Violence: Domestic violence includes physical, verbal, and mental abuse.
  • Financial Abuse: You must obtain proof that your spouse was intentionally controlling the finances in order to cause harm, control, or alienate.
  • Abandonment and Desertion: If your spouse has left the home for at least a year and had very minimal to no contact, you may be able to sue for abandonment and desertion.
  • Custody: Filing for custody of children can occur during a pending divorce.

The above list are some of the reasons that may make you eligible to sue your spouse. As always, consult an attorney and see if you have grounds and if it's a legal possibility for you. 

What is Alienation of Affection?

There is often a misconception about whether you can sue a spouse for having an extramarital affair; the simple answer is you cannot sue your spouse for this reason. However, in some states you can initiate an Alienation of Affection claim.

Alienation of Affection is when one spouse files a suit against a man or woman who was having an adulterous relationship with their spouse. Presently, only North Carolina, Illinois, Mississippi, South Dakota, New Mexico, and Utah recognize the language of this law.

In order to prove alienation of affection, there must be proof that you and your spouse were happily married prior to the affair. For your spouse or soon to be ex, the idea of suing their lover may deter them from continuing the relationship.

The Cost of Suing your Spouse

If separation or divorce seems to be inevitable, then it is important to consider all of the avenues of divorce. Ideally, you will want to remain civil and have an amicable divorce if there are children involved. However, if that seems to be an impossible task, contact your attorney and take immediate action.

To learn more, contact a divorce lawyer