Can I Sue My Ex-Wife For Defamation of Character?
False statements that cause you any kind of harm, be it physical, mental, financial or even harm to your reputation, is categorized as a defamatory statement. Often, the first step of legal action in a case of defamation is to send a “cease and desist” letter to the person making defamatory statements. This letter serves as a warning, telling the individual that legal action will ensue if they continue to make false and injurious statements. If you wish to know more about the laws and steps surrounding a defamation lawsuit, continue reading below.
Defamation In Law
Slander vs Libel
The differences between slander and libel are as follows:
- Defamatory emails, radio or TV broadcasts, newspaper articles, blog posts, or any other formats in which statements remain permanent can be classified as libel
- Defamatory spoken statements, actions, hand gestures, or any other form of expression that is not permanently recorded is classified as slander
Unfortunately, more common than not, false claims are made in a court of law or during a divorce. Tensions run high and it isn’t uncommon for either party to make a slanderous claim that is both harmful and hateful. If your ex said or posted something that permanently impacted your reputation during your divorce, you are within your rights to lodge a lawsuit.
Understanding Defamation — What Can You Sue For?
Before you sue for defamation, consider how realistic it is to draw out a legal case for defamatory claims, and whether you’d like to sue your ex after a messy divorce. If so, you must also acknowledge that unfortunately, spreading rumors behind someone’s back is not consistent enough to sue for defamation — rather, to meet the criteria of defamation, your ex’s statements must consist of the following:
- The statement was false
- The statement was expressed as a fact, not an opinion
- The statement was made to a third party
- You suffered a defamatory impact from the statement
- You suffered damages that you can be compensated for (loss of a job, loss of wages)
Things to Consider When Suing Your Ex
Your ex must have made slanderous statements against you, incurring sufferable damages
- If they claim that you were physically abusive, for instance, and you can prove that you were not, there may be grounds for a case.
- Defamation during a divorce is tricky — if you are in court or are speaking under oath, your statements are protected by privilege, meaning that any statements made are immune from courtroom litigation or defamation claims.
- If you continue to communicate outside of the courtroom, and defamatory claims are made in front of a third party, you may be entitled to a defamation claim.
You’ve Been Sued By Your Ex — Now What?
Turning the tables, if you’ve been accused by your ex of defamation, there are many options at hand. You’ll need to prove the following to win:
|You Were Given Consent||
|You Have Absolute Privilege||
|You Have Conditional Privilege||
Should You Write A Cease and Desist Letter?
- In sum, suing your ex can be expedited by writing a cease and desist letter
- You must outline the damages you’ve incurred, provide evidence, and command your ex to stop spreading slanderous rumors, or to cease contact with you altogether
- Unfortunately, many lawyers who are capable of drafting cease and desist letters will charge an exorbitant amount of money for even responding to your inquiries — this is where DoNotPay can help!
Uncover DoNotPay’s Reliable Services: Draft a Cease and Desist Letter in Minutes!
DoNotPay is a convenient solution! The Cease and Desist letter DoNotPay drafts will detail the information about the case, demand retraction, warn against future statements, and will order that the accused abides by state statutes.
All you need to do is:
1. Search “defamation” on DoNotPay and select the Defamation Demand Letter product.
2. Tell us about your situation:
- Were the statements slander or libel?
- What were the statements?
- Why are they false or misleading?
- What consequences have you suffered as a result of these statements?
Based on your location, DoNotPay will immediately generate a formal demand letter on your behalf, with the most relevant state legislation regarding defamation. You can expect a precisely drafted cease and desist letter to your cause, in an instant — you will need to deliver this letter to your ex before proceeding with a criminal case!
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