Can you sue your fiance’s ex-husband for causing her mental distress or harassment?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can you sue your fiance’s ex-husband for causing her mental distress or harassment?

My fiance and I just purchased a house together. Her ex-husband has always been extremely difficult for her to deal with, once we moved in he kicked it up to high gear. All of the multi paragraph harassing texts and accusations and threats of legal action, especially when she is at work. He refuses to go back to their court appointed counselor which was assigned to them because of his unwillingness to work together on decisions for their son and now he is sending her all these horrible texts about legal action. He just berates her, threatens her, says whatever he can to make her feel bad. It’s gotten to the point where it’s seriously effecting our relationship and she is so stressed out she can hardly function at home or work. What action can I, or we, take to make him leave her alone?

Asked on February 20, 2019 under Personal Injury, North Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your fiancee can sue her ex-husband for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Intentional infliction of emotional distress is an extreme and outrageous act intended to cause and which does cause emotional distress.  The texts are evidence and if she had medical treatment from a psychiatrist or psychologist, the medical bills, medical reports and if applicable, documentation of wage loss provide additional evidence.  
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document the emotional distress and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

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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