Can I sue my spouse for abuse?

     Clients often ask me about what remedies they have against an abusive spouse. In a divorce action, the issue of abuse is often completely irrelevant, especially in a case where there is no dispute over the parties’ rights with regard to children. I always advise clients to obtain a restraining order if their spouse has abused them within the last 180 days. For many clients, abuse has happened, but outside of the statutory window necessary for obtaining a restraining order, and their is no issue regarding children. In these situations, I normally tell clients that they are out of luck. There is, however, one other option, a tort claim for spousal abuse.

     The Beaverton, Oregon law firm Case and Dusterhoff, LLP recently obtained a verdict for their client in a spousal abuse case in which they alleged Assault and Battery along with Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. The jury’s award was not very large, but the result was certainly a large moral and legal victory as such claims are rarely seen.

About Daniel Margolin

Daniel Margolin is a founding partner of Stephens & Margolin LLP and a Portland, Oregon native. His practice focuses on all aspects of family law litigation. Dan applies his litigation expertise to provide additional expertise when assisting clients with Family Law Appeals and Collaborative Divorce matters. To find out more or contact Daniel Margolin, visit Stephens & Margolin LLP
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