My ex is making false statements. What can I do?
When a couple is going through a hostile divorce or custody battle, it's not uncommon for one or both to engage in antagonistic tactics and say unpleasant things about the other to other people or in front of the children. Unfortunately, some people in this situation will go so far as to lie or make unfounded accusations about their ex. When your name or reputation is being unjustifiably defamed during your divorce, you need to know how to respond in a way that won’t make matters worse.
Keep Your Reactions to Yourself and to a Minimum
Hearing your ex tell blatant lies about you can be infuriating, and your initial reaction may be to confront them and demand that they tell the truth. Although this may seem logical, it's important to remember that you are in an adversarial posture with someone who is not playing by the rules. If you go after them, he or she could find a way to make it appear that you behaved inappropriately. You don’t want to give them any evidence to support their accusations. Remain calm, and seek the advice of counsel. You and your attorney can evaluate the situation and assess what has been alleged, how to refute the falsehood, and determine if emergency measures need to be instituted to stop the behavior and protect your interests.
Determine How Far Your Ex Has Gone
If your ex has decided to be dishonest about you during your case, you also need to know if he or she has decided to be untruthful in other contexts. For instance, if you learn that they have been calling your work or children’s school in an effort to perpetuate the falsehood, you are probably going to need to take action. Further, finding out your ex has been lying to your children in an effort to turn them against you, could be grounds to involve the court and ask for restrictions on their placement time and custodial rights. If your ex is engaging in this kind of activity, contact your attorney as soon as possible.
Unfounded Abuse Allegations
If your ex is lying about you having property or money that’s one thing. However, if he or she is claiming you perpetuated domestic violence or child abuse, you are going to be confronted with an entirely different situation. Wisconsin courts take abuse allegations seriously and tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to ensuring safety. There may be an emergency hearing to address the issue of your contact with your ex or kids because of the claim. If you don’t have a history of the conduct you are being accused of committing and your ex does not have any evidence to support the allegation, they will lose credibility with the court. However, you may have to unfairly endure unnecessary measures such as supervised placement because of these tactics. Ultimately, when your ex’s deceptive conduct can be revealed, it will only damage their case. If these allegations are raised, you should consult an attorney right away to discuss the situation.
Attorney Karyn Youso understands the importance of helping clients dispel falsehoods during divorce and can help you identify solutions for your case. Call us today to set up a consultation so we can take a “first look” at your circumstances and determine the best ways to protect your interests.