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Can I sue my ex-husband in civil court for back child support and personal damages caused by his behavior and irresponsibility?

Rockford, IL |

My ex refused to pay child support until forced by court. I endured constant turmoil from him until I remarried in '03. Child support became even more sporadic, so I obtained an order for more than $10k arrearage. He won't pay so I'm always in & out of court. He was approved for Soc. Sec. disability so I arrived for our last court date with copies of medical bills, etc. (he's required to pay 50% -NEVER has-he owes above $22,000 ). I entered courtroom, tried to give him copies-he flipped me off. When we went in front of the judge-he began ranting about me not allowing visitation (LIE) & accused my husband of abusing my kids (LIE)! Bottom line-he is a lying, abusive, DEADBEAT creep. I'm asking for his mental evaluation & my husband wants to sue in civil court for slander & false accusations.

I have played by the book, done things right, never bad-mouthed him to the kids, taken the required legal steps to rectify the constant drama and turmoil he emits, and yet I have gotten no where! I have even had to defend myself in altercations with this jerk in my own driveway, where he reached out of his car, grabbed me in the stomach (leaving fingertip bruises-& no- i did not take pictures), called me disgusting names and I punched him in the nose! I am tired of fearing for my safety! We do not have the money for an attorney so I appear pro se and I usually do a pretty good job of presenting things in court. I thought that once the social security was approved and I presented actual dollar amounts he owes, the court would make him pay it and we could move on. But now he is lying in court about things that have the potential to ruin our family, and my husband's reputation and life simply because he isn't getting his way.

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Attorney answers 1


Technically, you're already in civil court. Social Security will begin to issue checks to you for your children. If you're going to court, be sure to ask the bailiff or security to prevent him flipping you off, or taking other negative action towards you. Be sure if you ask for his mental evaluation, you don't get stuck paying for it - that's how it typically works in civil court.

As for slander and false accusations, it's not easy to win those kinds of cases, and you don't talk about how he's truly caused you damage to the point it can be quantified in dollars and cents. If you're going to sue, what he's done, how those actions have damaged you, and what is the value of that damage.

Be sure to utilize the State to help you. Check out the DHS website.

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