You are in the middle of the divorce and find out that your soon to be ex is bad mouthing you to your children. They are profane in referring you, put you down all the time and trying to poison the children against you. When your children come home after visiting with the other parent, they are very upset and start to cry about it.
What can you do about your spouse (or ex spouse, if already divored) making disparaging remarks about you to your children. Also, how do you prove it in court?
If you are going thru the divorce and it is not finalized, you can ask for a temporary court hearing before the court commissioner and seek an order of the court that your spouse not make any disparaging remarks about you in front of the children. How you enforce that in the future if the conduct continues, is another problematic area, but certainly, the court has the authority to order both parties not to make any negative or disparaging remarks about the other party to the children.
This is also much more prorblematic if the parties are already divorced. Is it worth filing a post judgment motion and spending the money to go to court to ask for an order of the court that your ex spouse not bad mouth you?
2. How do you prove the remarks in the courtroom?
You know your spouse (or ex spouse if divorced) is either going to deny saying anything bad about you, or downplay the signifance of what they said. Unless you heard them make the statement, how do you get those statements of your children into evidence? Technically, it is all hearsay, and if your spouse has a sharp attorney, they are going to object to your repeating in court what the children told you out of court, based on an evidentiary hearsay objection. Unless there is an exception under the evidentiary hearsay rules, the commissioner or judge may sustain the objection and not allow you to testify to what the children told you the other parent said about you in court. That means, you may have to have other testimony from family or friends, who are in court and may be willing to testify, to your spouse or ex spouse having bad mouthed you in front of the children to make it stick in court.
You can also look for “public comments” made about you by your spouse thru social media, which can be used in court, such as Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
It is certainly harmful for a parent to bad mouth the other parent to the children. It is not in the best interests of the children for the parents to talk disrespectful about the other to the children, and the court is not going to like it one bit. Whether you can get such statements of the children into evidence or not, one certainly has to try, particularly where this is going on during the divorce itself, and the rules of evidence may be a bit relaxed before the court commissioner, as opposed to being in front of a trial judge or after the divorce is granted. Nip it in the bud. Bring it to the court’s attention and ask for a mutual restraining order that both parties are prohibited from saying anything negative about the other parent in front of the children. Do it for your children’s sake, if not for your own sake.
If you have questions about how to conduct yourself when going through a divorce, contact the experienced family lawyers at Karp & Iancu, S.C. today 414 453 0800
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Milwaukee, WI 53226
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