DIVORCE: Liars Beware!
For many persons facing a relationship breakdown, there is often great worry that the other (now ex) spouse will give in to all of the negativity of the separation and unleash a tirade of abuse and untruths.
Although abuse can be very confronting, it is generally easy enough to spot and it can be fairly effectively stopped with our strong anti-domestic violence laws. In reality, it is often the untruths that become the real menace because lies are fairly easy to manufacture, and liars are generally very good at convincing others that they are speaking the truth. The lies could take the form of false allegations about domestic violence or other false assertions about important historical events that will fundamentally change how parenting arrangements for the children and/or property might be divided. For anyone facing these sorts of lies, the thought of having to expend considerable amounts of time, energy and money to prove the truth, coupled with the possibility that the liar may still be believed would, understandably fill the strongest of us with dread. But take heart, the worst day of your life may yet turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Under the formal family law system, there are plenty of reasons to take hope that all will be all right in the end.
The first is that once the lie is spoken or published, it will usually be impossible for the liar to further embellish it without exposing the first statement to be false. For the victim of the lie therefore, there is comfort in knowing that matters probably cannot get any worse because the upper limit of the potential damage of the lie is now known and capped.
Second, once the lie is out in the public space, the lie is exposed, isolated and vulnerable to attack and defeat because usually, the liar will not be able to create new lies to conceal the fallacy of the first one.
Third, it is the liar who still bares all of the responsibility of actually proving it and within that exercise, it is the victim that now gains considerable rights and powers which are all there to defend the truth.
Defeating a lie of course will rarely ever turn out to be the best thing that might ever happen to you, but at least in the family law space, a lie does not usually cause the worst day of your life.
Michael Zande is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Family Law Specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the field. He is the principal at Zande Law Solicitors, Suite 7, Norwinn Centre, 15 Discovery Drive, North Lakes. To contact Michael for advice, phone 3385 0999.
The information in this article is merely a guide and is not a full explanation of the law. This firm cannot take responsibility for any action readers take based on this information. When making decisions that could affect your legal rights, please contact us for professional advice.