In some cases, divorcing parties have more to litigate than the actual divorce. One spouse may desire to sue the other for civil financial and/or personal injury claims which arose during the marriage. These claims are generally referred to as “tort claims.” An example would be if one spouse physically injured the other during the marriage, and the injured spouse wishes to sue for his/her injuries. It is important to remember that if you are an injured spouse and wish to bring such a lawsuit, it must be included in your Complaint for Divorce. This is known as a “Tevis claim.”
Importantly, if the injured spouse fails to include his/her tort claims with the divorce Complaint, the court may decline to allow an award to the injured spouse as a result of his/her failure to file the claim as part of the divorce proceeding. The reason for this is a legal doctrine which provides that a person should file all claims that they have against another person at the same time. This also applies in the context of a divorce. Despite the fact that the tort claim must be filed with the divorce Complaint, a judge may choose to eventually separate the proceedings.