How do I file a defamation of character suit against someone and how much does it cost?

Asked about 3 years ago - Garnett, KS

I am going through a very ugly divorce and my ex-to be has just been contacting everyone associated with me and saying a lot of terrible, untrue things. Additionally, everyone I am associated with has been insulted and slandered to a point of having to defend themselves. This has also turned my children against me.

With all of the money going out on this divorce, there isn't a lot left but the only way to stop it is to file legal action.

What is the process and about how much will it cost?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Kenneth J. Geniuk

    Contributor Level 10

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your statement regarding "all of the money going out on this divorce" indicates to me that perhaps you already have an attorney, since aside from the filing fee a divorce proceeding really is not that expensive. The expensive part is the attorney's fees. As such, if you have an attorney, you should direct this to his or her attention.

    That being said, in general to succeed on a defamation of character suit you need to show that someone made false statements about you, that your reputation was damaged in the comunity as a result of the false statements, and that you were actually damaged by the false statements. In most cases you will either have to prove economic losses as a measure of damages, or will have to show some type of medically diagnosable psychological injury. Simply being upset or angry about what he is doing is probably not going to be enough to sustain your proof of actual damages.

    If you do not have an attorney, you should meet with one to go over the details of your circumstances so that you can receive legal advice more relevant to your particular set of facts. Also, you can not bring a cause of action on behalf of the other people who he is defaming...they have to do that for themselves.

    The information contained in this posting does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is for general... more
  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Slander is the oral communication of false statements which are harmful to someone’s reputation. Spoken opinions which don't contain statements of fact don't constitute slander. The basic elements of a claim of slander include; 1.defamatory statement 2. published to third parties 3.which the speaker/publisher knew or should have known was false. Contact a local defamation lawyer to protect your rights and reputation. Lawyers fees vary, thus search Avoo for lawyers in your city and call for a free consultation with one or more.

    Click on name or picture to see profile page.
  3. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Defamation cases are expensive and very difficult to win. And they take a long time to conclude. The court that is hearing your dissolution case has the power to make orders that correct the situation that you describe. Talk to your divorce attorney about a formal request for such orders from the court in the matter you are already involved in.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more

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