Martial Tort FAQ's

1. What is a marital tort? 

Basically, a tort is a civil wrong, for which the court will provide a remedy in the form of an action for damages. Torts may be intentional, negligent or reckless. They may result in any number of physical or emotion injuries and they also include injuries to property. Torts have increasingly become very relevant in New Jersey divorces. Many spouses now also sue their ex-husband for a marital tort(s), and it is then consolidated with the primary cause for the divorce.

In my opinion, a marital tort is basically a “shake down” tactic by a wife to obtain a distinct advantage in a divorce case. Examples of marital torts include: assault and battery; marital rape; Battered Woman’s syndrome; wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress; false imprisonment; use of excessive; defamation; and wiretapping. Claims may also arise after the complaint for divorce has been filed. These types of claims frequently involve hiding money after a divorce case has started. These types of torts are called the dissipation of marital assets, fraudulent conveyance of marital assets, invasion of privacy, and interference with custodial rights.

In summary, marital torts is an emerging trend in New Jersey divorce law. The concept of inter-spousal immunity has been abolished in New Jersey. Therefore, the gates have been open to permit spouses to sue each other for individual torts. What a wonderful world we live in!

2. What is the Battered Woman’s Syndrome?

In some bitter divorce cases, a battered spouse will also sue their husband for a personal injury tort. The tort claim of being a battered spouse will be consolidated with the divorce case. A ruthless lawyer will use a battered spouse tort claim to try to obtain additional financial concessions in the divorce case.

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