How to stop an ex from slander

Updated April 17, 2017

Marriages that end in divorce often result in feelings of bitterness and hostility. This may lead to one of the ex-spouses making slanderous remarks about the other. Slander is the verbal defamation of character. Someone who engages in slander makes fallacious remarks against someone else with malicious intent. If your ex is making slanderous remarks to your family members, friends or colleagues, the remarks can negatively impact your personal and professional life.

Document the statements you consider slanderous. If your ex is making slanderous comments to friends, colleagues and family members over the telephone or in person, ask them to write down the comments on a piece of paper. Ask them to include the date, time and location of the remark. If the remarks are made online, ask your friends, colleagues or family members to print hard copies of the remarks.

Carefully read and evaluate the statements. Analyse the statements by determining which remarks are the most flagrant and injurious. Write a response to each statement. Include evidence to prove the statement is false and explain how your ex knew it was false when she made the remarks. Hard evidence that demonstrates the falsity of a statement may include receipts and other written documents, such as bank statements and check stubs, and witness testimony and statements. Proving that your ex knew the statement was false and proving the statement was made maliciously is more difficult. A statement made with malicious intent is made by a person who knows the statement is false and whose intent is to damage the reputation of the victim. The written documentation you collect may prove what you ex knew or should have known. Your ex may have made comments to family and friends that prove the intent was to hurt or damage you.

Hire a lawyer to write a letter to the ex. The first step in stopping your ex from making slanderous remarks is to contact the ex with a letter. Explain the situation to the lawyer. Show the lawyer the documentation and evidence. Ask the lawyer to write a letter to the ex. A legal letter will carry more weight than a personal letter. Inform the ex that legal action will follow if the slander continues. If you choose not to hire a lawyer, it is still a good idea to pursue legal consultation and advice; however, it is possible to sue a person for slander by filing a complaint in small claims court without a lawyer.

File a complaint with the court that has jurisdiction over the case. The complaint form will ask for the name of the defendant, a list of the remarks, evidence and facts to prove the remarks are untrue and that they were made with malicious intent, a description of the damage you incurred and a list of witnesses.

Prove your case in court. Set a date with the circuit court the court appearance. Pay whatever necessary fees that may be required for the trial. Send summons to the witnesses to appear in court on the date of the trial. Prepare for the court appearance by going over evidence and by rehearsing what you want to say to the judge. Review the evidence. Dress well and show up on time with all your written documentation and evidence. Act professionally and don't lose your temper with the ex. Remain cool, calm and collected.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.