Honesty is the Best Policy – Especially during Divorce - Ludlow Lane Skip to content

Honesty is the Best Policy – Especially during Divorce

As family law practitioners, our aim is to untangle complex personal situations and guide individuals toward a healthier future.

But this can be hindered when clients are less than honest.

There are various reasons someone might be dishonest during the divorce process:

Financial Gain: They may seek to hide assets or income to minimise what they have to share with their spouse during the division of property.

Emotional Hurt: Divorce can evoke strong emotions like anger, resentment, or sadness. Some individuals might act out of spite or a desire to hurt their partner emotionally.

Child Arrangements: Dishonesty may arise regarding Child Arrangements. A parent might lie about their ability to care for the children or about the other parent’s behaviour to gain an advantage in Child Arrangementproceedings.

Avoiding Responsibility: They might try to shift blame or responsibility for the breakdown of the marriage onto their spouse to protect their own image or ego.

Fear of Losing: Fear of losing assets, access to children, or even the divorce itself can lead some to resort to dishonest tactics in an attempt to secure a more favourable outcome for themselves.

Legal Strategy: Some individuals may believe that being dishonest will give them an advantage in court or during negotiations, although this can often backfire if the lies are discovered.

In essence, dishonesty during the divorce process often stems from a combination of emotional turmoil, self-preservation instincts, and a desire to achieve specific outcomes.

Lying by omission is also a factor. In fact, you may genuinely forget to inform the solicitor about something very important due to the stress of the situation. This is why it is imperative to make sure you take the time to check everything and not make any emotionally charged decisions during the divorce process.

Being dishonest during this process can carry significant risks, including:

Legal Consequences: If caught lying under oath or presenting false information to the court, individuals can face serious legal repercussions, including fines, loss of credibility in court, and even criminal charges for perjury.

Damage to Credibility: Once a person’s dishonesty is exposed, it can severely damage their credibility and undermine their case. This can impact various aspects of the divorce proceedings, including asset division, Child Arrangements, and spousal support determinations.

Lengthy Legal Battles: Dishonesty can lead to increased conflict and prolonged legal battles, as the other party may challenge the false claims or evidence presented. This can result in higher legal fees, emotional distress, and a drawn out divorce process overall.

Financial Loss: Attempting to hide assets or income can ultimately backfire, as courts have mechanisms to uncover such deception. Individuals may end up losing more in legal fees and penalties than they would have by being transparent about their finances from the outset.

Strained Relationships: Dishonesty can erode trust and further damage already strained relationships between spouses. This can have long-lasting effects, particularly if there are children involved who may witness or be affected by the conflict.

Negative Impact on Children: Children are often sensitive to the dynamics of divorce, and witnessing dishonesty between their parents can be emotionally damaging. It can create confusion, distrust, and resentment, impacting their well-being and future relationships.

Personal Integrity: Being dishonest during the divorce process can take a toll on a person’s sense of integrity and morality. It may lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and regret, affecting their self-esteem and mental health.

It’s clear that the risks of being dishonest during the divorce process extend beyond legal consequences and can have profound personal, financial, and relational implications. 

Therefore, it is best to prioritise honesty and transparency to navigate the divorce process to promote trust, fairness, and constructive communication. This will contribute to maintaining integrity, reducing conflict, and laying the groundwork for a healthier post-divorce transition, resulting in more efficient resolutions and better outcomes for all involved.

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