Marital Privilege Exceptions You Should Know

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When a marriage hits a crossroad, a spouse is not forced to testify about confidential communications they had with their counterpart when they were married. Some specific marital privilege exceptions prevail when couples divorce. As a result, private communications do not remain private anymore. All communication details become essential facts for the third party, the attorney. Such exceptions can, however, eliminate the safeties of marital privilege, thus leading to a civil or criminal case. Understand how to get a divorce in Toledo following marital privilege exceptions.

Secret Communications Revealed

An exception in communications in marital privilege is when a spouse disclosed details to a third party. Regardless of the person or how the information was revealed, the details of the communication can eliminate the ability to invoke privilege for that information. It does not remain a secret. So, it is possible that one spouse could explain in the courtroom as it is not possible to get the privilege. It is also likely that the spouse could invoke privileges through testimony. However, that does not apply to communications or a statement.

Communications with No Secrets

If a spouse gives some details without maintaining the secrecy – through a conference call, telephone call, or in public, the communication may not be a secret. In such situations, spouses cannot invoke the privileges as the exception removes protection. The communication between spouses is to ensure that the details they exchanged are secret and private for the privileges to be applicable. However, if such details are verbally released to the third party, the information does not remain a secret anymore.


When people end their marriages through legal procedure or a divorce, the marital privilege does not apply. While the private communication and contact between spouses remain, the ability to invoke the marital privilege and prevent another party from giving testimony or speaking against another party is not allowed to protect a party in civil or criminal cases. Divorce simply revokes the protections without preventing a party from testifying against another or even explaining the issues.

Domestic Violence

A specific marital privilege exception applies when domestic violence prevails in a household. The spouse could testify against another or choose to be silent. Aggressors involved cannot invoke this marital privilege in the instances as the aggrieved party is another spouse. The aggrieved is free to testify against the one causing violence under different sections of law for damages of recovering from violence and abuse. Prolonged abuse might also lead to increased significant damages. An attorney can explain the differences between cases.

Abuse in the Household

A spouse might also not have any marital privilege when any amount of abuse or violence is involved. If an aggressor harms someone else or even the child in the house, he/she cannot invoke the marital privilege. Some exceptions to standard protection are also in place. An aggrieved spouse can testify against their aggressor and seek protection.

When do you need a lawyer?

Marital privilege requires assisted understanding. Though states may have certain rules about the implementation of protection acts and the exceptions applicable to the circumstances.  An experienced lawyer can give the best legal advice to provide necessary details about the process and marital privileges.