Many divorces, separations or even just custody disputes between never-married couples can get very heated, causing the parties to act in ways they maybe wouldn’t normally. It often doesn’t take very long for one party to start trying to use the family courts as a way to punish the other party. When this happens, it may escalate to the level of court harassment.
In simple terms, court harassment is when one party abuses the legal system in an attempt to cause the other party undue emotional stress, damage the other party’s reputation in the community or cause the other party damage financially. Any of these things can and do happen to some degree in most divorce and custody cases, but when it reaches the level of abuse to one party, it moves into harassment territory.
One example of court harassment is using the victim’s fear of having to involve the courts to threaten them into doing what the abuser wants. In this situation, the courts become an intimidation tactic. Someone engaging in court harassment may also file false reports, bring trivial issues to the court, use the other party’s health issues to embarrass him or her in court or ask for repeated continuances in an attempt to cause the victim ongoing financial and emotional stress.
If this sounds like an issue you are currently dealing with or have had to deal with in the past, it’s important to discuss your situations with a lawyer. Once someone has started to engage in court harassment, it is often an ongoing cycle. Talking with a lawyer can help you be better informed on your options for stopping court harassment.
Source: Family Law in British Columbia, “What if your ex is harassing you through the courts?,” accessed Nov. 13, 2015
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