Can I sue my ex-husband after our divorce has been finalized?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue my ex-husband after our divorce has been finalized?

I was married for about 10 years. My family and I had supported my

ex-husband financially through college and graduate school. He also had

obtained his legal citizenship in the U.S. through marriage. During his last 2 years of graduate school, he wanted me to go back to school so I would not be an embarrassment to him. We ended up living in different states. After my ex graduated, he supported me financially to finish school. My last year of college, he constantly harassed me to sign the divorce papers. He offered to help continue paying for financial support, pay off my school loans after graduation, and pay for further education after college. With no other financial support to hire an attorney, I had to sign the papers. I needed to finish school and needed the support from him. The papers did not state any of the financial support. He

continued to pay monthly but the amount started decreasing and now he has not been sending any form of payment. I know that it was not written in the paper and I have no written agreement. After the divorce was finalized, I found out he was having an affair with his classmate for a long time even before the divorce. I have no contact with my ex husband but I know where he is and where he is working at the moment but I do not want to have to do the same. Is there anything else that I can do?

Asked on July 5, 2018 under Family Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue based on what you write:
1) The "entire controversy" rule requires that all claims arising out of the same "event" be brought together, and that once any legal action due to that thing is resolved, you can't bring other claims. Any/all claims for support or other amounts due from him arising out of your marriage (e.g. from his infidelity; or from support he may have owed you) had to be brought or resolved in your divorce; once your divorce was final, you cannot bring legal action or seek compensation arising out of the marriage.
2) Whether he pressured or harassed you to sign or you felt you had no choice, you *did* sign the divorce papers when you did not have to (you could brought a divorce case in  court, or let him his bring a case, put the circumstances and facts before a judge and let the judge decide, for example). Having signed those papers, you are bound by them and cannot get any assets or support not provided to you by those papers.

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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