When an individual seeks divorce help from a family lawyer, the likelihood of him or her needing a klonopin and a shot of Jack is higher than the probability of Johnny Football continuing to make a mockery out of the NCAA. This is rooted in the fact that instead of viewing divorce as a business transaction, a jilted spouse will often take any action necessary to feel a sense of victory over their former flame. Of course, given human nature, it’s only logical that when facing the epic demise of one’s marriage neither party wants to accept any responsibility. This dangerous cycle of blame shifting only motivates the desire of the scorned to paint his or her former lover as a first class d-bag; regardless if that means waging war. And, as Sun Tzu wisely pointed out, all warfare is based on deception.
Family attorneys, as well as judges, are trained to sniff out BS before they step in it. This practice that has led to the universal adoption of Pusha T-s mantra “believe half what you see, none of what you heard.” Alright, alright, so maybe you can’t picture Judge Judy bumping Clipse in her chambers; but trust, the basic premise is definitely there. In fact, the court’s emphasis on the importance of a party’s veracity begins with the discovery process. Even if you manage to Pinnochio the nature of your assets or true income, there is no time limit for motions for relief from judgment, decrees or orders based on fraudulent financial affidavits in family cases. Let me paint you a picture of the consequences that can result from such a scenario so it really sinks in. Fast forward a few years, when you think the nightmare of your divorce is finally behind you and you’re sipping Dom on a beach somewhere with your new and improved 25 year old paramour, only to be served with papers notifying you that your case has been reopened. Yep, you guessed it, the jig is up. Now, instead of spending your golden years with Brandi or Blaize; marveling at the effects yoga and crossfit really has had on these younger generations, you are now destined to spend them staring into the beady eyes and double chin of your former (and now extremely pissed off) ex.
The penalties for untruthfulness can also result in significant financial strain. For example, if a party fails to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter when responding to a request for admissions, and if the party requesting the admissions thereafter proves the genuineness of the document or the truth of the matter, the requesting party may apply to the court for an order requiring the other party to pay the requesting party the reasonable expenses incurred in making that proof, which may include attorneys’ fees. Don’t let the semantics of the rule fool you. The court must grant the order unless it finds that either the request was held objectionable pursuant to the applicable rule, the admission sought was of no substantial importance or that there was other good reason for the failure to admit.
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And don’t forget that magic little word, perjury, which can have both civil and criminal consequences. A false statement made under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter is a crime and a mistaken belief, or a claim thereof, that the statement was not material is not a defense to the crime. This not only affects your financial interests, but can also influence how much time you have with your kids. Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action involving domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect is a factor that must be considered by a court when creating a parties’ parenting plan. A smart family lawyer knows that there are no winners or losers in the realm of family law, but also that achieving a party’s goals in a creative, expeditious and cost-effective manner the first time around is a necessity.
Clearly, when seeking divorce help, it is imperative that you retain a family attorney whom you can trust to safeguard your interests. After all, as the late, great Vince Lombardi once said, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.