It is an unfortunate and increasingly common fact of life: husbands and wives sometimes give each other sexually transmitted diseases (“STDs”).
A spouse has the right to sue the other spouse for damages, in addition to the other remedies usually available in a divorce, such as the division of property and maintenance (alimony). While marital conduct of any sort is one factor a court will consider in dividing marital property, Missouri courts have ruled that a person claiming to be the victim of an STD can make those claims in the dissolution of marriage proceeding, or through a separate lawsuit.
The hard part may be proving that one’s spouse transmitted the STD. Once proven, damages may include not only pain and suffering, but also psychological damages and even punitive damages.
The timing and manner of bringing such a claim is something to discuss with your attorney as soon as you know that you may have been exposed to an STD by your spouse or that you may have contracted an STD from your spouse.
Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal’s family law attorneys can help you determine what remedies you may have available for your divorce or apart from a divorce.