There is almost nothing more painful than deciding that you need to pursue legal action against a loved one. However, sometimes these things do happen.
If this is something that you’re seriously thinking about, try to decide whether there is any other way to resolve the dispute. Suing someone can cause a rift that time may not be able to heal.
If you want to move forward, consider how this action could change your entire lifestyle.
You Might Cause the Family to Take Sides
Most people wouldn’t consider suing a loved one, but if you feel like a family member or friend did something egregious toward you, you may have no alternative. Maybe you’ll decide to do this if:
- A family member tries to cheat you out of your inheritance
- A family member’s negligence caused you to injure yourself
- A loved one is spreading slanderous rumors about you
Just because you love someone, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect, and they might do something with which you disagree. If you sue them, though, that might make your other family members choose sides between you.
If you feel strongly that what you are doing is right, then you might not care about this all that much. Still, keep in mind that if you hope to maintain familial relationships in the years to come, that might no longer be possible once you make this move.
It Could Wreck Your Finances
To sue someone, even a family member, you need to hire a lawyer. You can either do so:
- On a contingency basis
- By paying them an hourly fee
- By giving them a sum of money up-front
Some lawyers won’t agree to a contingency-based fee structure unless you’re pursuing something like a product liability or wrongful death lawsuit. The reason you’re suing your loved one might not apply.
If that’s true, it could be a costly lawsuit, and there’s no guarantee you’ll win. You might have to spend a lot of money on it. Before you head down this road, consider whether it’s worth draining your savings to gain satisfaction.
Your Friends Might Look at You Differently
Your friends might also think about you differently if you decide to sue a loved one. Some people believe that doing something like that is a mercenary or cold-hearted action.
On the other hand, maybe your friends know what the loved one did to you, and they agree that you’re right. They might support you in your decision. If so, then they may be the support network you need to get you through this troubling time in your life.
This Lawsuit Could Eat Up a Lot of Your Time
You should also prepare yourself for your daily activities to change if you sue a loved one. If you sue anyone, you’re going to need to do all kinds of things associated with the lawsuit, and it’s going to take up your time.
You’ll need to meet with a lawyer, hire them, and probably spend quite a bit of time talking about what happened and your strategy if the lawsuit goes to trial. You might need to meet with investigators or other individuals working for the lawyer on your behalf.
You’ll need to set aside some time for the trial dates if things progress that far. Depending on the nature of why you’re suing your loved one, things might move along relatively quickly. They also could drag on for weeks or even months.
You should be ready for that because you’ll probably want to see things through to the end once you’ve started the process.
You Might Feel Depressed or Sad
One final way your lifestyle can change is that you might have a tough time dealing with what’s happening on an emotional basis. You may feel less than certain about how to proceed in your life after taking such drastic action.
You may feel depressed or unhappy, regardless of whether you win your lawsuit or not. Suing a loved one will take a heavy emotional toll, and you’ll probably carry that with you for a long time afterward.
You might have to speak to a therapist about it if you don’t feel like you have a strong enough support network in place.
This is not a decision that you should make lightly. When they involve emotions, legal battles seem doubly difficult. You should only proceed if you feel like you have no alternative.