There’s no denying that family law cases are emotional. It is important, however, to keep this emotion in check at times or you could end up wasting time and money that would be better spent elsewhere. For example, consider the recent case filed by Steve Harvey’s ex-wife, Mary L. Vaughn. The parties divorced 12 years ago after nearly 20 years of marriage. Despite Harvey’s remarriage and the length of time that has passed since the divorce, Vaughn filed a new lawsuit against Harvey seeking $60M in damages for several claims including alleged child endangerment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, kidnapping, torture, breach of contract, conspiracy against rights and “soul murdering.” Steve Harvey’s ex-wife sues for $60M for ‘soul murdering’, by Jaclyn Hendricks, pagesix.com, May 19, 2017. Clearly, though Harvey has moved on in the 12 years since their divorce, Vaughn is still extremely emotional about it and feels that it continues to impact her life.
Whether the allegations in the lawsuit are true, Vaughn is clearly letting her emotions get the best of her with phrases like “soul murdering.” According to the article, the lawsuit was filed by a “civil rights activist,” not a lawyer. Thus, it is unclear whether the person “representing” Vaughn has a legal background. Due to the language used and the amount sought, however, Vaughn is not likely to be taken seriously in a court of law. She might even be ordered to pay Harvey’s fees for defending this action.
If a lawyer had filed this suit, phrases like “soul murdering” would not have been used, and that lawyer would likely have advised against asking for $60M in damages. While a person can certainly represent themselves in a family law matter, attorneys can be very helpful in reining in the emotions and presenting the case in a more professional way. In the end, paying attorney’s fees for your own attorney will likely save you time and may even save you money, as you will be much less likely to be ordered to pay the opposing party’s fees.