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What can you do if your ex is disparaging you?

Not all divorces are amicable. Too often, one or both spouses have residual anger and other emotions that may only get worse as the divorce proceedings unfold.

Unlike several decades ago when the worst thing they could do is berate you to friends, family members and assorted colleagues, now an ex's angry or false words can go viral throughout social media (or at least throughout your network of Facebook friend and Twitter followers). So what can you do if your ex or soon-to-be-ex is talking trash about you?

Talk to your attorney about getting a court order that prohibits either of you from maligning the other to your children or others. By being proactive about this, you strengthen your position in the divorce. Your attorney can suggest possible consequences for violating such an order.

You could potentially file a civil lawsuit for slander (false statements that are spoken) or defamation (those that are printed). Save texts and emails, and keep printouts of anything you see posted on social media before it gets deleted. You may be able to show that your spouse has harmed your relationship with your child, your career and/or your reputation.

Even if your spouse doesn't pay for his or her actions directly in money, a violation of a court order or continued slander and libel after you've initiated action can impact your child custody agreement, divorce settlement and other aspects of the divorce if they're in the hands of a judge.

Of course, if your ex is sending you threatening messages or posting threats online, it's imperative that you notify your attorney immediately. He or she can help you get a protective order in place and take other action to protect your safety and that of your family.

Source: Huffington Post, "When “I Do” Turns To “F You”: 10 Things To Do When Your Ex Talks Disparagingly (aka Trash) About You," Lisa Helfend Meyers, accessed Nov. 08, 2017

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