Perjury is the underlining cause in many of the problems in Family Law; bad rulings, change in custody, violation of court orders, property, financial and other issues too.
Because of recent postings and it’s importance as a subject, I am addressing the issue again and have updated/re-edited this version from the earlier posting on Facebook and company blog.
Titled, “Why can’t lie detectors be given to alienators? I once asked an alienator to take a lie detector test. They refused!”
Lie detectors are not the fool proof solution you might believe they are. Lie detectors can be beaten. It is not easy, but it is doable, especially by alienators. This is because alienators truly believe what they are saying, truly believe that the lie, is the truth, and because they believe the lie so vehemently, they can beat the test.
Further, because judicial officers rule immediately following the trial if later the testimony is proven to be false, there is no re-do outside of filing an appeal. As a result court procedures actually assist, support and benefit the individual who lies under oath, or who misrepresents the facts and gives false and misleading statements.
In fairness to the judges, if identifying lies is difficult for your attorney imagine how difficult it is for the judge who doesn’t have the same intimacy of your case as your attorney or yourself.
Now do people make mistakes when they testify. Yes, absolutely. It happens all the time. Individuals are nervous, and/or don’t phrase their response correctly. And their attorney does not make the corrections on cross examination. Leaving the court with the wrong perception of a particular situation or the case overall. It happens all the time.
So, how does someone tell the difference between a lie and a mistake? Pretty simple actually. If nearly everything an individual testifies to, every time they testify, is a lie, they are probably lying and it is absolutely intentional. Does the phrase, walks like a duck, talks like a duck, must be a duck sound familiar. Same application.
This scenario is very different from an individual who occasionally makes a mistake, every once in awhile when they testify. Under this scenario they are probably not lying. Are their exceptions of course!
So what is the answer?
I have given much thought on how to deal with this issue. Certainly my background as a law enforcement officer, nearly 24 years, understanding of the courts and court procedures, penal codes etc. allow me a unique insight.
Different from the majority of those outside the court system seeking reform. Even from those inside the system, due to the scope of my exposure and research of Family Law that occurred over ten years.
However, the issue of dealing with perjury is not as daunting as might initially be perceived. It would work like this, and there are two options. Both options would begin the process in the same manner. This is a general outline only and does not address specific policies, time lines, formats, responses etc.
The transcript from the hearing containing all of the statements made by the father under oath would be given to the mother. The same with the mother. Her statements, under oath and transcript would be given to the father. In cases where there are no children, male and female or in same sex marriages, Petitioner and Respondent would exchange transcripts.
The parents, would each go through the transcript, line by line of the other parent. The parents with or without their attorney, would check for accuracy, truthfulness, lies, false and misleading statements and/or information missing and not addressed.
Because it is often the parents who are in the best position to know the truth/have the evidence to support the truth/lie, it is more appropriate for the parents to identify the lies in this manner than everyone playing the guessing game Which is pretty much what we have now. A crap shoot of sorts. This is too important an issue to continue in this manner.
A trial brief would then be prepared by the attorneys representing the parties with attached evidence if applicable. Trial briefs would then be submitted to court for review and final consideration of the rulings.
Now consider this, if in the future, both parties waive the right to review transcripts the judge would rule in the same manner as they do now. This is only applicable if the parties believe the testimony of one or both has been false.
At the courts discretion either option one or two could be applied. The first option is conducted based on the trial brief only without a hearing. The second option is conducted with the trial brief but with an additional hearing/or follow up if you will.
Regardless of which option is chosen, the judge then gives final rulings based on the new evidence/corrections if there is any and then responses.
This procedure would level the playing field in many areas of family Law, not even addressed now. It would improve the position of the less capable parent, who needs this second level of protection to identify false statements and lies by the other parent.
For the parent who is able to over compensate financially or is particularly convincing in their testimony, if provides a second level of assurance that the truth has been presented to the courts.
If the truth has not been presented there is a correction of the perception of the case to the court by one or both of the parties.
As opposed to the current process of the parent who looks the best, sounds the best, presents the best, sometimes in spite of the evidence, who currently prevails.
It also levels the playing field for the attorneys too. A sort of a redo without filing for an appeal and correction again of the situation if previously the court had leaned in the other direction due to false statements.
The argument going forward with this course of action is that initially the delays cause by these procedures will slow down the process at a time when the court system can least afford it.
Yes, that might initially be the situation. But ultimately having a court that makes better rulings will be make the entire process not only far more effective, but safer for everyone involved; children, families, and the courts.
To learn about other solutions for the Family Law Court System please read our series, titled, “An Open Letter To The Family Law Court System.” or visit us on the web, CustodyCalculations.com
You are also encouraged to contact our hot line 702-675-5120 for a free consultation for our coaching services. Or attend our workshops, Divorce Boot Camp.