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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I want to know if I coulsd sue my ex husband .We

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I want to know if I coulsd sue my ex husband for slander.We were divorced 7 years ago.He filed and accused me of having an afair.I did not have an affair and he had no proof,infact he was abusing me and i wanted the divorce.He left and i was left with all the debts and bills and really struggled on my one wage.I was unable to afford my solicitor for long and was unable to file for divorce.Also i made the decision not to accuse him of the many years of abuse for fear of my children finding out their dad was a monster.He became very unreasonable during the divorce,made my life hell,police always said it was a grey area.I left my hometown to build a better life with my children and was glad to get away from the fear of him.My eldest child chose to live with his dad at 14 as he turned him against me.He showed him the divorce papers ,the origional one which sited the accusation that i had numerous affairs.I went to court and told the courts i did not have an affair and the divorce ended on irretrievable breakdown of marriage.My son never saw this paper and has chosen to always believe his Dad,I have never told him the real reason.Some may say foolishly,but there was little evidence except my friends seeing hidden bruises,i kept it covered up,i never wanted my children to hate their dad.My son has never wanted a relationship with me since.I live with my youngest son,17 and daughter now,15.Or at least i did.My son left home last month as he wanted to live with his girlfriend.It is strained as i didnt want him to leave and am so sad that he now lives with strangers.I pay for his rent and all he needs,and constantly ask if he is safe and well,i live in hope he comes home soon.Today my son sent me a very aggressive text,telling me i have lied to him,that i had an affair.That his dad has shown him the divorce papers and that he hates me.Again my ex is taking control and ,manipulating my life,and turning my children against me.He once told me he would make it his mission to make all the children hate me until i was left in the gutter.The papers he shows them are the origional accusation papers which do stae that he believes i had an affair.It is worded such that if you didnt know it was the final draft it looks officially correct.I have the final copy but the boys never wanted to see it or believe it.My daughter is now 15,she loves her dad.He is very good to her,he has been with them all.He is very wealthy,married rich,and can give them opportunities i can never do.I am so scared i will loose my daughter to him it right that he can lie about me to them and get away with it.I get so tempted to retaliate and tell them about all my beatings,how he threw me down the staire to cause my miscarriage,how he strangled and raped me...but who would believe me now and whats to gain bu hurting my children further.I could never do that to them.I was the fool to stay with him for 15 years of abuse,so i payed enough for that,i pay for that every day of my life.I have depression,anxiety and attend self help meeting to try and improve my self esteem that got pounded over the years.I do not want that pain for them.But I am so ANGRY today and feel powerless again,all for his lies against me.Is there anything I can do to get justice...and not be hurt again.My children are my life.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
So, in short, he has shown your children the divorce papers?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I am really sorry but that is not defamation.
He is perfectly free to show that to anybody he likes.
If he starts saying things consequent upon that that are untrue or misleading then there may be a claim in defamation.
A defamation action will cost in excess of £10k and probably nearly £25k unless he just caves in at the first hurdle.
Whatever the final order says, it doesn't detract from the divorce papers. The final order is only a finding of fact as far as the courts go. He is perfectly free to maintain that there was more to this as a matter of fair comment if not truth both of which are defences to defamation.
Sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i dont understand?it is a one sided accusation he has shown them,it could say he has reason to believe i am an alien from mars on is surely not fact,and yet he has managed to persuade them it is.How can this be allowed?

Yes, and that is what freedom of speech involves.
He is free to express an opinion.
The entire situation is not really what the law of defamation was designed for. Defamation applies when a person causes actual financial loss to a business by spreading lies about them.
This is a family issue I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So is there anything else i can do?

Not on these facts.
Obviously if he starts to contact you directly when you have told him you don't want him to then that would be harassment but this isn't defamation I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My ex husband has text me that he has shown the divorce paper to my son as proof that i had an afair..this is not proof is it..this is his opinion only.He is still accusing me of lying and this is affecting my relationship with my son who believes his dad...please..i cant have history repeat itself...i have always been honest about what i did and i didnt have an afair..there HAS to be something i can do to prove that the divorce paper is not fact...please help me,i am so depressed,i think about taking my own life,i will loose my daughter next and i cant live forever in fear of this man always trying to ruin my life...please give me some thing,any thing i can do..there must be some justice for this long term repetition of stress he causes me.

No, it is not. But that doesn't make it defamation. You are right. It doesn't prove anything except really that he raised this complaint earlier.
I am really sorry but these are just plain relationship issues. The divorce is over and there isn't an application for child contact so it is not of interest to the family court.
I wish I could tell you something is actionable but people have these family disputes all the time and it doesn't give rise to a cause of action.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I need closure to my past .Antidepressants,well being support,3 months of work,now being phased back,new marriage,support from family and friends,i suppose i am lucky.BUT nothing stops the repetition of what he did to me both physically and mentally for 15 years.I live with the knowledge that i should have told the police,strated divorce proceedings myself based on his abuse..and never did..maybe i should have even been honest with my children and family children still dont know due to my stupid loyalty to their right to love and trust their father and knowing the truth about him would hurt them grately.I feel i cant move on with my life,especially when he turns the children against me,still after all these years he is constantly waiting for me to fall

Could i be brave now,face the truth,,could i make a case against him for abusing me all those is this done,how can i prove it.If Jimmy Saville victims can...surely i can.I went to a solicitor when my son was born,not long after because my ex threw a heavy basket at me whist i was holding my son..the solicitor wrote a warning letter to was 17 years ago..would they still have it on record.I have friends who saw my bruises and broken fingers and knew he had done it to me,they could family witnessed his verbal abuse...i cant prove the rape or when he pushed me down the stairs..but i did loose my baby due to there a chance.Would it cost thousands,could he prove otherwise...oh i dont know.I feel i need closure and justice.

I'm afraid the Crown don't really prosecute stale offences of violence and anyway you are time barred as this is a common assault.
You can make a complaint of rape but the conviction rate is not high and obviously the fact of the animos between you is a point that he will take. Also, in the light of recent rulings it would give him a claim against you if there were not actually a conviction arising. The days when allegations could be made risk free have gone I'm afraid.
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

except for on initial divorce papers it seems. thankyou. feeling lost now,but at least i know all the facts.

No problem.
All the best.