Divorces can bring out the worst in people. When you are litigating a divorce, it’s common for one party to lie in an attempt to gain the upper hand. Usually, it’s false accusations of domestic abuse or violence, adultery, or hiding assets.
When you’re in the middle of an already contentious divorce, the last thing you need is your soon-to-be-ex spouse lying to the court and making you look bad. Here are five things to remember if you’re up against false accusations in an Orlando, Florida, family court.
False Allegations Have Penalties
When someone makes a false allegation under oath, they have committed perjury. When perjury is committed during an official proceeding, such as while on the witness stand, it is a third-degree felony. The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison.
This makes perjury a serious criminal offense. If you can show that the other party is knowingly making a false statement, then they may be charged with a crime. Furthermore, they will lose all credibility with the court in your divorce case. A judge is less likely to believe their testimony going forward. Ultimately, you will be left with the upper hand.
You Have the Right to a Lawyer
It’s pretty common for people to divorce without a lawyer. However, this isn’t usually the best option, especially if you are facing false accusations. Remember that you always have the right to a lawyer in divorce court.
You should always hire a lawyer upon initiating divorce proceedings – or even beforehand when you are planning to. If you haven’t done so, you should immediately hire a lawyer upon learning that the other party is lying. While you can try to protect yourself from false accusations, it is much easier if you have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side.
Since false accusations are very common in divorce court, your lawyer will know the best way to defend your reputation.
You Don’t Have To Say Anything
When you’re facing a false accusation, your instinct may be to react out of anger. It’s normal to get upset and want to defend your reputation. However, sometimes the best path forward is to remain silent and let your lawyer do the talking.
If the opposing party is making a false accusation, one of your best strategies is to remain calm, cool, and collected. You don’t want to risk saying something that makes you appear explosive or out of control. The benefit of a lawyer is that you have someone who can speak on your behalf. Your lawyer can remain calm while also defending you and revealing the truth.
Evidence Is Your Best Friend
It is most likely going to be evidence that reveals the truth. Once you learn that you are facing false accusations in court, you should collect evidence that supports the truth. Examples of evidence may include:
- Witness testimony
You can use this evidence to combat a false allegation. After all, evidence usually holds more weight than someone’s word alone. It’s always best to collect evidence as soon as you learn that you are getting a divorce.
Impeachment Is a Powerful Tool
Impeachment is a way that your lawyer can attack the other party’s credibility in court.
There are many different ways to impeach a witness. In the case of a false accusation, a common way your lawyer can impeach a witness is by introducing a prior inconsistent statement. Your lawyer may also choose to impeach the witness by exposing bias or offering proof from other witnesses that their testimony is false.
For example, imagine your ex-spouse previously said that you were a good parent in a deposition but now is saying that you are an abusive parent. Your lawyer may opt to use the deposition to impeach the witness.
Contact a Trusted Orlando Family Law Attorney for Legal Help and Advice
At the end of the day, false accusations are stressful, especially in the midst of a divorce. However, it doesn’t mean the end of your case. You can reveal the truth, especially with the right divorce lawyer.
Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC
815 N Magnolia Ave Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32803