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Can I sue my ex-husband for emotional distress?

Killeen, TX |

My 16yo son who has ADHD and ODD (who had been residing with me for 8 years now) ran away with his father in the middle of the night. They went to court the next morning and got an emergency ex parte on me using false accusations. I live in Texas (6 years now) and he, the father lives in Kansas. We have an 18yo daughter that I am in care of who is 37 weeks pregnant and has severe receptive and expressive aphasia. She is also stressed out to where it has caused her to have preterm labor contractions due to the stress. I myself have fibromyalgia. I can't even put in words how stressed out i am over this trying to get everything done to get my son back and not have to leave my daughter. I have been given a court date less than 3 day now I cant meet cause of all the above and finances.

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Attorney answers 1


No. The law does not afford a remedy for purely emotional injuries. You can, however, sue to either get custody of your 16-year-old, or to enforce your current custody order and get him back (it's not quire certain from the question whether you had legal custody of him, though it's implied that you do.).

The courts do not exist to validate your feelings or resolve personal acrimony. They are there to resolve conflicts that society cannot tolerate being unresolved - and they do it far from perfectly.

People have this notion that suing someone will be this glorious redemptive process, where their every injury will be avenged and all their feelings validated. This belief is staggeringly wrong. Lawsuits are intensely unpleasant. They force the parties to live through whatever injuries they originally suffered, for months or years. You have to answer tons of difficult questions, over and over again, and if you change your story even a bit, you can be sunk. They rarely go perfectly - the law often produces results that one side or another considers to be unjust, for technical reasons - or just because "justice" is a pretty subjective concept. The other side has every motive, and every right, to attack your honesty, your conduct, and your motives. And, of course, you need to shell out a fairly large amount of money, most of the time. This is true even if your lawyer is working for a contingent fee, where they don't get paid if they win. And it's certainly true if you lose, and you have to pay the other side's attorney fees, which can be huge. So you really need to think carefully before you embark on any litigation.

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: | Online:

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