Can I sue emotional damages after a custody battle?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue emotional damages after a custody battle?

Custodial parent withheld child, and also
threaten to physically harm me and/or my car.
Even attempted to hire someone to damage
my car. Stole my cell phone and used
evidence in my phone against me to the GAL,
which hurt my case.

Asked on March 8, 2016 under Personal Injury, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can't sue for emotional damages from the custodial parent trying to withhold your child: that's because a parent has the right to try to get and keep custody and since he or she has the right to use the legal process to do this and to not give up custody, there is no liability for doing this.
However, threats of harm, threats of property damage, and hiring someone to damage your car are torts, or wrongs (they are also crimes) and you may be able to sue them emotional damage caused by their using illegal/wrongful means against you: they don't have a right to do that, and so could be liable for the emotional harm they intentionally caused.
You could also sue them for theft; and you could potentialy report the threats and theft to the police, since they were crimes.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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