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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    20

    Post Can You Get a Gag Order in a Divorce Case

    My question involves restraining orders in the State of: Missouri

    Can a gag order be established in a divorce to prohibit the parties from discussing the divorce and any circumstances of the relationship?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,123

    Default Re: Gag Order

    CAN it happen? Yes.

    WILL it happen? Can't say without any facts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,342

    Default Re: Gag Order

    A Gag Order can only be enforced on the attorneys and parties of a case and in virtually all cases end with the ending of the case. Anyone else sitting in the court can talk and write about it all they want.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Can You Get a Gag Order in a Divorce Case

    If you are talking about having the court record sealed, the courtroom closed to the public, or both, then although it is technically possible there would be a very high burden to meet. If the case is newsworthy, the media will generally oppose any such petition. You can also stipulate that certain evidence or testimony be taken under seal and not disclosed -- such as medical or mental health treatment records, certain information about the children, a custody evaluator's report and recommendation, and the like -- with consequences to the parties for disclosing the sealed information. Some states (I haven't checked yours) automatically seal certain types of information, such as a custody evaluator's recommendation, and some even allow for the court to order that the attorneys not provide copies to their clients.

    If you are speaking of a gag order, such orders are also unusual. If you can negotiate some sort of order as part of your divorce settlement, then you can probably obtain some form of "gag order" that will limit or prevent certain forms of disparagement, harassment, or disclosure of embarrassing information from the relationship or divorce; but such a clause, and language describing the consequence of violation, should be drafted by and reviewed for enforceability by your lawyers.

    In terms of what a court might order in the absence of agreement, a court may provide a limited restriction under special circumstances -- such as a provision that neither party shall disparage the other in the presence of their minor children, or limiting certain statements made (e.g., to the media) while the divorce is still pending; but a court has very little power to restrict the First Amendment rights of the parties to a divorce case. It is not the role of the court to protect you, after a break-up, from embarrassing facts about your past relationship. If your ex- tells falsehoods about you, then your remedy will normally lie with a defamation action.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Can You Get a Gag Order in a Divorce Case

    We were ordered to refrain from posting anything potentially identifying on any sort of social media, including boards such as these. NYS.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Gag Order

    How can one get a gag order? If there was a verbal agreement not to discuss thing prior and things were discussed does one have any leverage?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,454

    Default Re: Gag Order

    Quote Quoting OnTheRun
    View Post
    How can one get a gag order? If there was a verbal agreement not to discuss thing prior and things were discussed does one have any leverage?
    The person seeking the gag order would have to file a motion asking for it and would have justify the reason for the court to impose it. The most common reason a gag order occurs in criminal cases that are subject to a lot of publicity; the order is imposed to prevent the parties and their lawyers from speaking about the case before trial so as not to influence potential jurors in the case. The gag order then ends once the trial is over.

    A verbal agreement not to discuss things might amount to enforceable contract, but the details of it would matter a great deal. Of course, verbal contracts are more difficult to prove to the court.

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