It is always more desirable for couples planning their divorce to act civilly and responsibly, but this doesn’t always happen. Your soon-to-be-ex may be so angry or vengeful that they make false claims about what is done or said either during mediation or even in court. They may justify their actions because of their feelings or view it as a strategic action to secure a better settlement or further inflict damage on their spouse.
Whatever the reason, these actions make the divorce process more stressful and complicated than necessary. The attacked spouse should not fight back in a similar fashion, but they can still work with their attorney to refute these accusations.
Do not escalate
It can be tempting to fight fire with fire or angry accusations with angry counter-accusations. However, this makes you as angry, bitter and vindictive as they are. It is important to remember that this behavior can be harmful to the family and impact visitation and custody.
Do not engage
The marriage may be so damaged by this point that the couple can’t seem to be in the same room together. It may be better to communicate through lawyers to handle the divorce and limit interaction to email or texts when coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs. It may be best to have a neutral third person or use a public setting when transferring the children between parents.
Documentation is key
Facts are the most effective rebuttal to lies and accusations. Spouses can maintain accurate records and documentation that reflect the circumstances. Examples include:
- Voicemails, texts, emails, and phone bills
- Posts on social media
- Complete tax returns, bank statements and credit card bills
- Police reports
- Statements from marriage counselors or the children’s teacher
- Legal recordings of conversations
This information can help confirm or refute claims and create a very different image than your spouse tries to portray.
High conflict divorces are challenging
The good news is that, eventually, the divorce will be final. Moreover, the spouse making false allegations perjured themselves in court, which is a crime. Spouses can also buffer themselves from these attacks by getting help from family or neutral third parties like a family law attorney.