Frivolous Motions In Divorce Cases
Most couples have had heated disagreements about silly and unimportant issues, but when you get to divorce court, it is time to focus on issues that are substantial and, if possible, quantifiable. Whether or not your ex is intentionally earning less money than she could earn makes a difference when it comes to calculating child support, even though, if you were still married, your relatives and friends might tell you that it is a silly argument and you should focus less on dollars and cents and more on your family’s long-term future. Unfortunately, it is possible for your ex-spouse to keep bugging you about their pet peeves even after your divorce becomes final, but the court will not let your ex waste your time and money with pointless lawsuits. If your ex-spouse is trying to use your divorce case or post-divorce litigation to dissipate your financial and emotional resources, contact a Boca Raton divorce lawyer.
Why Do People File Lawsuits They Have No Chance of Winning?
A frivolous lawsuit is one where the plaintiff’s claims have no basis in fact or law. A famous example is the man who sued Budweiser in the early 1990s, alleging false advertising because drinking Budweiser beer did not transport him to a glamorous beach scene as shown in the TV commercials. Unsurprisingly, the court dismissed his lawsuit, because he should have known that the commercials did not represent reality.
Sometimes plaintiffs file frivolous lawsuits or frivolous motions in a pending case just to annoy the defendant or make them spend more money on litigation. An example would be if your spouse keeps filing motions about trivial matters to make it take longer to finalize the divorce, because she knows that the alimony the court will award her when the divorce becomes final will be less than the temporary alimony the court has ordered you to pay while the case is pending.
Another reason that people file lawsuits they know they cannot win is to draw attention to certain legal issues. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Scott Johnson, who is quadriplegic, visited hundreds of restaurants in California that had recently switched to outdoor seating only and sued the ones that could not accommodate his wheelchair. The goal of these lawsuits was to draw attention to the issue of accessibility, not to get compensation for financial losses; in some cases, the court looked unfavorably on him for targeting independently owned restaurants that had limited resources and had a policy of rearranging their seating to accommodate each party that dined in the restaurant.
When Former Spouses Uses the Court to Harass Each Other
It is not hard to find examples of long-divorced couples who are still battling in court, from Johnny Depp and Amber Heard to Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock or Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The difference is that they are celebrities with a vast fortune. If your ex keeps dragging you back to court just to wear you down, this will be obvious to the judge. Likewise, if the claims you plan to make in your divorce case do not have merit, your lawyer will tell you this honestly. An ethical divorce lawyer will not encourage you to proceed with frivolous motions against your ex-spouse during or after your divorce.
Contact Schwartz | White About Paying for Your Divorce
A South Florida family law attorney can help you if your ex-spouse is using frivolous litigation as a way of getting on your nerves. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.