David R. Hartwig, ESQ.
Attorney & Counselor At Law
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Defamation & Divorce - Oh the terrible things they say!

During, and after, a divorce terrible things can be said, posted, blogged, or otherwise made public by one party about the other. This happens, and it happens often; and, it can be very hurtful and damaging.


The very best thing to do is your mother's old adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything." If you follow that saying, then you should be safe.


But, what happens when the other side does it? What can you do when the other side emails lies to your family and friends, or posts those lies on Facebook, or tweets them? Or worse yet, sends things to your boss, your clients, or your religious leaders?


Well then you need to have some restraining orders in place -- either as temporary orders, while the divorce is pending; or, as permanent orders, when the divorce is done. The order is important in that if you have one you can then ask the judge to hold the other side in contempt and punish the other side (including the potential of being awarded your attorney fees) when that other person violates the order.

This is particularly important if there are children in the divorce and custody is in issue. The children need to be kept out of the divorce; and, the need to be protected from a parent working to make the child choose a parent, or otherwise alienate the child from the other parent. No one should stand for such pressures being placed on a child in a divorce!

If the words get truly ugly, remember that some claims or accusations can be considered defamation per se, which means you don't have to show you were damaged by the nasty claims. But, if things are really ugly, you may need to file a separate defamation claim, as in Utah one cannot bring such an action in the divorce case itself.

You don't have to suffer the "slings and arrows" that the other side aims at you. You have options available to protect your and your reputation. You just need to stand up and pursue those options.

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