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Is your ex guilty of legal abuse (using the court system to get back at you)?

By August 15, 2016No Comments

By Gianna Huesch

Are you being subjected to legal abuse syndrome? Has your ex refused to negotiate, mediate or be flexible in any way and come to any agreements with you? Perhaps they just seem to enjoy your court conflict? Do you feel they are using the family court system as the perfect place to continue to fight with you?

While most divorces are settled out of court, others obviously proceed through the courts, some repeatedly.  Divorce is an emotional time and it can be hard for someone–or everyone–to be rational. But some experts believe there is a simple underlying reason why some partners are driven to repeatedly head back to court: a basic desire to get even.

When a spouse refuses to follow through with an agreement, or when someone withholds visitation, it can be an attempt to get back at an ex-partner. An American marriage and family counselor has now come up with a term for it, “legal abuse syndrome”, and she links it to post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It is a psychological injury, not a mental illness. It is a personal injury that develops in individuals assaulted by ethical violations, legal abuses, betrayals, and fraud.”

The counselor argues that people who engage in using the family court system as a means of abusing their ex need to learn better conflict management skills:

 “If your ex pushes your buttons emotionally and you want to get back at her/him by going to court, get them to a therapist’s office, not an attorney’s office.”

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If you need legal assistance in relation to a family law matter contact our Principal, Cristina Huesch, or one of our solicitors Sharla Stevens or Angela Li for advice on (02) 6223 2400


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