During a divorce or child custody case, each party may be desperate for the court's favor. In fact, it is not unusual for both parties to 'dig up dirt' on the other, hoping to sway how a judge will rule on the case. In some instances, this could lead a plaintiff or defendant to be dishonest with their attorneys – whether it's providing information that is untrue, or failing to disclose details that could be pertinent to the case. If you have ever thought that saying less can win a case, you should think again. Being honest with the person representing you could truly make or break a domestic case. Here are a few reasons that honesty is the best legal policy when speaking with your lawyer.
Judges Are More Astute Than You May Think
Throughout the course of a single day, judges hear hundreds of domestic cases. At some point, a lie or a hundred will come up. They are hip to the lying game and do not have much tolerance for such tactics – particularly in a courtroom. In fact, as they are determining entity in a domestic case, a lie can go far beyond rendering a plaintiff or defendant as having a weaker argument. A person telling a lie in court is actually breaking the law.
Judges 'Reward' Lies with Consequence
In some instances, legal testimony isn't necessarily a lie, but is still less than the truth. This happens when an individual attests to situations going on their best recollection, but may not be accurate. Courts typically understand 'best as can recall' statements or testimony, lending the witness an avenue to speak honestly while accepting it may be faulty. However, when the statement is an outright lie, authorities may draw a very hard line toward that witness and the legal party the witness is present to support. Fines and charges could be imposed as well as other legal consequences for false testimony. It can also be a viable cause for discrediting the party's legal argument and cost them the entire case.
Your Attorney is an Ally, Not a Judge
It may be embarrassing, uncomfortable, or even frightening, to tell an attorney the complete truth about the events surrounding your legal case. However, it is important to remember that your representative is an ally, not a judge. Attorney-client privilege exists for a reason. It provides the conversational foundation for you to share important details and facts about your circumstances, even if you are the 'bad guy'. Attorneys don't exist to assess you; their responsibility is to argue on your behalf. Sometimes, that means leveling the playing field, particularly for fathers fighting for rights to their children. Other times, it means winning the case altogether, if possible.
Being honest with the person representing you is your best chance at getting what you want out of your case. So, share as much as possible. If the circumstance or situation seems to put you in a negative light, this may be the first information you want to provide to your lawyer. An attorney may be able to devise a counter strategy or strong argument that alters how authorities view such information. Besides, if the opposing party plans to use that information and your advocate is unaware of such details, it could diminish your advocate's ability to effectively present your case. Without that, your chances of being successful can practically vanish.
Being honest with a lawyer can be paramount in obtaining a legal victory. If you are going to court and worried about being honest with your representative, call Kenny Leigh & Associates. We have represented numerous fathers fighting for their rights in Florida and we will be glad to help you fight for yours.