Can I sue my step son for manipulating my husband into divorcing me?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue my step son for manipulating my husband into divorcing me?

I’ve been married for 22 years. My stepson has disliked me the entire time we were married. From age 12, he would bad mouth me to neighbors and my friends. One month prior to my husband telling me that he no longer wants to be married, my stepson wrote him with several reasons why he should divorce me and using his children to manipulate him. Thoughout our years together, I can’t remember a time my husband stood up to him. Is there something that I can do?

Asked on June 20, 2018 under Family Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue your stepson for this. There is no legal cause of action or claim against someone for telling another person to do or not do something:
1) Your stepson has the legal right to his opinion and to voice it--there is no liability for doing what you legally may do.
2) Your husband made the decision to divorce--your stepson did not control him or force him to do this. Because your husband made the decision and your stepson had no actual legal control or authority over what he did, from the law's point of view, your stepson did not cause the divorce--you don't "cause" things you had no power over.

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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