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What if a spouse makes false claims during the divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2021 | Divorce, Family law

It is not uncommon for a couple’s marriage to wither as the focus turns to raising the family or their job. This can lead to collaborative divorces where their working relationship is still healthy even if the romance is gone. Then there are ones where the marriage breaks apart amid strong feelings of anger, frustration and bitterness.

These feelings and other issues can lead a soon-to-be-ex to exaggerate and outright false statements about what was done or said. Perhaps they did it to justify their feelings, or they might see it as a way to get the upper hand during divorce negotiations. Whatever their motives, it can cause stress and complications for the couple, the children and other loved ones.

What can be done?

Here are some helpful strategies for refuting the allegations:

  • Collect documentation: One of the most effective ways to refute false accusations is with fact-based evidence to the contrary. Such documentation as police reports, texts and emails, voicemails, bank records, phone records and credit card bills can refute the false claims. These details can color a very different picture than the accuser claims.
  • Do not lash out: It is bad to fight fire with fire because the courts will see an angry response consistent with other bad behavior. It can impact a judge’s decisions on custody, visitation and other issues.
  • Minimize direct contact: Couples may get more angry or upset when their spouse is in the room during divorce proceedings. So try to keep things calm by staying away and keeping necessary communications in writing or text. If there are problems when picking up and dropping the kids, choose a public setting where there is less inclination to make a scene or bring along a neutral third person to act as a buffer.

Pick an attorney who can handle the acrimony

Some attorneys prefer civil or business-like divorces, so it is best to ensure that they can excel in this environment. They may need to manage all communication during proceedings. They can also work to protect their client’s reputation and parental rights. It may even be necessary for them to counter by proving that the spouse committed perjury in court, which is a serious crime.