Going through a divorce is undoubtedly one of the most difficult things a person can experience. Without a doubt, even if the divorcing parties are civil with each other, it is a complicated and emotional process that can begin one way and take unexpected turns during the divorce proceedings.
When communication breaks down
If communication between you and your former spouse breaks down during the divorce and you cannot talk about things calmly and in a civilized fashion, or if there was never a civilized environment to begin with, your spouse may engage in less-than-desirable behavior, like spreading lies or making false accusations about you.
Taking (right) action
It is important to take action in protecting yourself from lies, especially when the chances of harm are significant. For instance, lies involving your health could affect the court’s view of your ability to parent your children, which is why it is key to remain alert for these behaviors by your spouse and not disregard them immediately as unimportant to pay attention to because you know the truth.
How you approach your spouse’s behavior can communicate many things about you without even having to open your mouth. How you react can show who you are and what values guide your actions and words, as well as show the court how you handle conflict, which is an inevitable part of life.
While it is frustrating to have to deal with lies, it is imperative that you defend yourself while holding yourself to a higher standard than the other party.
Keeping a detailed record of all interactions between you and your spouse is critical. Take screenshots of text messages, emails, and all other relevant documents.
Beware if your spouse is smart enough not to communicate their nasty behavior in writing and instead only does so verbally, in person. In those cases, ask your attorney what you should do to document what your spouse says to you.
Evidence against false claims
If you have any evidence against the false claims your spouse is making against you, make sure you compile it and give it to your attorney.
The best way to fight lies is with the truth, and while divorcing parties have fights over text messages or emails in which they say things they later regret, it is critical to present evidence that shows patterns of behavior.
For instance, if your spouse claims you were violent in the marriage and you know you were not, besides the fact that they were violent against you, you can keep track of the people you spoke to about the events that took place anytime the other party was violent toward you, such as family, friends, a therapist or your attorney.
Sometimes people will proactively lie to protect themselves from the court believing what actually happened, especially if the individual has a personality disorder such as narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, or other personality disorders that show up as patterns in a person’s relationships.
Gather witnesses and consult with an attorney
Once you compile your evidence and make a list of any person who may have witnessed anything, whether it be a family member you know well, a friend who witnessed you crying, or a teacher at your child’s school who heard your child say that your spouse hurt you.
Every one of these people could potentially be helpful to you in court. Your attorney will let you know what the legal rules allow regarding who can testify and what evidence is admissible in court.
Taking the high road
Perhaps the most important aspect of handling these painful accusations is maintaining composure. When the other party makes accusations, the court will probably listen to them.
Perhaps the other party or their attorney will express themselves aggressively and, in fact, show their true colors as they are trying to make their argument.
Remaining calm and allowing your attorney to defend yourself using evidence is the best way to defend yourself. Keeping a positive, respectful attitude and a neutral tone of voice and facial expressions will go a long way in supporting your arguments in defense of whatever lies your spouse spread.