Can my husband’s mother be forced to testify as to his adultery?

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Can my husband’s mother be forced to testify as to his adultery?

During our separation he has confided in his mother about his adultery. She has witnessed the one he is living with now. Can she be made to testify or sign an affidavit about his adultery even if she doesn’t want to?

Asked on July 24, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I think that you are thinking along the line of is there some sort of privilege that would preclude her from being able to testify.  Most privileges are given by statute: attorney client, doctor patient, pastor/clergy person and congregation member, as well as spousal privilege.  Here there is not a privilege that would preclude her from testifying if called as a witness.  She will be, or course, a hostile witness, meaning that she will not testifywillingly. And she may refuse to answer thereby being held in contempt of court. There are also evidentiary issues regarding her testimony that may need to be cleared up.  Ask your lawyer about all this as a way of determining tactics here.  Good luck.


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