Taking Action

Get Answers Start Your Divorce Stop Your Divorce Divorce Forms Online Support

Divorce Tools

Online Divorce Online Negotiation Custody Tracker Custody Evaluation QDRO Preparation Divorce Calendar SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

State Resources

California Florida Illinois New York Texas SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Generate Clients Free Network Page Submit Articles Sign In

The Divorce Encyclopedia
Punitive Damages


Term Definition Punitive Damages - a money award to a plaintiff that also punishes the defendant for his egregiously bad behavior.
Application in Divorce Also called exemplary damages, punitive damages are awards on an increasing scale above what it would take to compensate him or her for property loss.

Monetary damages are compensation paid a person who "has suffered loss, detriment, or injury to his person, property, or rights through the unlawful act or negligence of another."

Damages may either be compensatory, which are given to make up for the loss, or punitive, which are given to punish the defendant for his or her action. Generally, punitive damages are awarded only when compensatory or actual damages have been sustained.

Lawyers who specialize in personal injury torts -- the "slip-and-fall" lawyer or "ambulance chaser" -- win awards based on economic loss, injury, and pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a term big enough to include not only physical discomfort and bodily distress but also emotional trauma and mental anguish. (In some jurisdictions, recovery for pain and suffering is restricted.)

Very often personal injury tort lawyers serve on a no win-no fee basis, whereby they receive a percentage of any settlement awarded the plaintiff in a personal injury tort.

In divorce actions, a lawyer is not permitted to graduate his fee based on the size of the property settlement. Success fees in divorce actions are considered unethical.

Alimony, maintenance and child support are not considered damages.

Monetary damages are not normally part of divorce actions, but marital torts, which are now more common, permit spouses to sue each other for damages.

Add the Divorce Encyclopedia to Your Website!


The Research Center

Give Our Research Center a Try. Gain access to the same research material that lawyers often use to establish and win divorce cases. This material consists of legal journal articles and case explanation/analysis documents on a wide range of topics. If you think your situation is unique, your answers will most likely be here. In order to gain access to this area, you must establish an account, but you can search the documents before deciding.


The Divorce Source Difference

Since February 1st, 1997 (when we initially launched Divorcesource.com) we have helped millions of people contemplating or experiencing divorce. The reason we have been able to reach so many people is because we have made it a priority to listen to our customers. We have built a trust by listening and delivering what the customer needs, rather than what we think they want. This is the Divorce Source difference.


Social

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

Custody Scheduling and Tracking

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

 

Start Your Divorce File for Divorce

 

Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your Divorce

 

Track Child Custody Track Custody & Visitation

Custody Scheduling and Tracking

Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"