What Is An Affirmative Defense In Family Law? 

There are several defenses available in family law, and attorneys should make sure to use every valid one. While it is reasonable to assert affirmative defenses in your divorce complaint, it is important to be careful because this may hurt your credibility. For example, it is not appropriate to assert a defense in a divorce complaint unless the other party was aware of something that took place before the marriage, or if the other party condoned the conduct. If the other party did nothing, then an affirmative defense will not be of much help. 

(Looking for a family law adoption attorney office? Visit us today!)

Insanity defense 

Insanity is a defense that is sometimes used in criminal proceedings. In such cases, a defendant may be found not guilty but be given a lighter punishment because of their mental impairment. To successfully use this defense, however, a defendant must demonstrate that they are not aware of their actions and lack the mental capacity to fully understand their actions. In addition, they must prove that they are incapable of controlling their impulses. 

While the insanity defense has been used for centuries, it only has a legal status in the past three centuries. Previously, judges and juries used various tests to determine if a defendant was legally insane. These tests included the Wild Beast test, the “Insane Delusion test,” and the “test of capacity to distinguish between right and wrong.” The latter two criteria are still used in some jurisdictions and were eliminated by some. 

Connivance and collusion defense 

The connivance and collusion defense in family court proceedings refers to a spouse’s wrongful act while the spouse’s consent is implied. This defense is useful in divorce actions in which neither spouse was guilty of the act. This type of defense is not available in no-fault divorce actions. However, it can be useful in cases involving a spouse’s coercive behavior. 

A couple can use connivance and collusion defenses in a divorce case if one spouse acted in such a way as to set up or bait another party into committing a wrongful act. For example, if the complaining spouse arranged a seduction for her husband and later filed for divorce based on adultery, the connivance and collusion defense could be used to protect the spouse who encouraged the affair. However, this defense is not very common and is generally only available in divorce cases involving adultery. 

Res judicata defense 

The doctrine of res judicata, or “law of the preceding action,” prevents a party from going to court twice for the same issue. This doctrine applies only when the parties have already had a chance to litigate the issue in the prior proceeding. However, the doctrine cannot be applied in a way that deprives a party of his or her day in court or defeats the ends of justice. Specifically, courts that enforce support orders under the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESSA) have limited res judicata jurisdiction. 

While many cases appear to be res judicata, the law allows for a retrial in some situations. For example, a person may be granted the right to counsel in a case where the original judgment was rendered. Another example is when a person has had their liberty taken by another party. In this situation, the court may allow the person to try the same case with a new counsel. 

Accord and satisfaction defense 

Accord and satisfaction is a legal defense in a breach of contract. It comes about when the parties agree to new terms that are different from the original agreement. If the court finds that the agreement is invalid, the plaintiff cannot recover from the original contract. According to Texas law, the defense is a valid legal defense against a breach of contract claim, and it involves the creation of a new contract that releases the original obligation. 

The Accord and satisfaction defense are also commonly known as a settlement. In some states, this defense is often used to resolve a case in which the parties are at odds. In the state of Michigan, the court decided that an agreement can be a valid defense for both sides. It also prevents the prosecutor from pursuing the defendant. But it does not apply to every type of case. In some cases, the defense is not viable.