What is Florida’s Spousal Privilege?
The spousal privilege, or the “Husband-Wife privilege” as it is designated by Florida Statute Section 90.504 , is a privilege which prevents the disclosure of certain communications between spouses. The privilege exists to promote open and honest communications between spouses without the threat of those conversations later being disclosed in a court of law. It covers communications between a husband and wife, during their marriage, which were intended to be made in confidence. Although the husband-wife privilege only covers communications made during their marriage, the privilege may be claimed by either spouse during or after the marriage has ended.
There are a few things worth noting regarding Florida’s Husband-Wife privilege. First, the privilege is limited to “communications” between a husband and a wife. While you may prevent your spouse from disclosing the contents of a conversation, the privilege may not prevent the disclosure of your spouse’s observations. Second, the conversation between you and your spouse must have been made in confidence. In other words, the conversation was only between the two of you and no one else. For example, the privilege would not apply to conversations which you and your spouse had at a dinner party with other people because those conversations were not made in confidence. Lastly, the privilege only applies to communication made between husband and wife; therefore, communications made prior to the marriage will not be covered.