A woman in New Jersey has more than her share of stress these days. She’s suffering from a terminally ill cancer. She has to pay her allegedly drunken ex-husband spousal support. And now, he’s suing her for emotional distress because she wrote something in her check memo line that insulted him.
Francis J. Wagner Jr., 61, says he experienced emotional distress when his ex-wife wrote words like ‘bum’ and ‘loser’ on the memo line when she sent him spousal support checks. Wager collects $744 per month from his ex-wife.
Diane Wagner, 57, said her 10-year marriage to Mr. Wagner ended badly. The two had engaged in many drunken bouts. She didn’t have the money to have a divorce trial, so she agreed to pay the support in an attempt to quickly put an end to the marriage.
Mr. Wagner collects Social Security/Disability payments, says the rude things his ex-wife wrote on her checks had a negative effect on his already poor health. He says he suffers from cancer and a bad heart, and his wife’s ‘harassment’ has now added emotional distress.
Ms. Wagner is being treated for lung cancer that has spread to her bones. She says she can barely afford the support as it is. She filed for a reduction but the court denied her. She says she was emotionally distressed when her ex-husband’s law firm put a snapshot of her check (with personal information redacted), displaying the memo line.
“What’s funny is that the now ex-wife so hated paying our client — the husband — $800 per month for the next six years as alimony and she had written “Alimony/Adult Child Support” in the memo of the weekly checks — until we put a stop to that harassment,” the law firm wrote.
Ms. Wagner said she never got a letter. That was quickly followed by a letter from the law firm. “Please be advised that your writings are causing my client severe emotional distress and have led to him having sustained heart attacks in recent weeks,” said a letter from the ex-husband’s lawyer to Ms. Wagner. “If you send a single check in the future with any writing upon it other than what is required to process the alimony payment a complaint will be filed against you for intentionally inflicting emotional distress upon my client.”
Ms. Wagner doesn’t care if her ex-husband doesn’t like what she writes in her check memos. “As far as I’m concerned I can write anything I want on the memo line because it’s a note to myself. I was the victim in that marriage. What more blood does he want from me? I pay him religiously,” she said to the Daily Record in a phone interview.