Divorcing Couple and Lashon Harah


A couple in our community is in the process of a bitter divorce. I have known them for many years and really like both of them. I have only seen good in them until now. Now each one is saying bad things about the other, all without proof, just word against word, with the expectation of being believed. I cannot tell what is true and what is not, but because their statements contradict, I know some of them are lies. People who know them are taking sides as they embark on a heated custody battle that could take months or years to resolve.
How do the laws of lashon hara apply to this situation? What may I believe and what should I ignore?



  1. I am so sorry to hear that the couple’s divorce is so acrimonious. Unfortunately, the chances are that their children will be the biggest losers in the custody battle.

    The Halachos of Lashon Harah are absolutely applicable in this situation. It is forbidden for you to believe anything that you are being told unless there is ironclad proof. Halachically, it might be permissible for you to listen to what each one is saying about the other if they need to get it out of their system, but it is forbidden to actually believe them. And in a similar fashion, it is forbidden to encourage them to speak about each other in a derogatory fashion.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team