Imagine a couple going through divorce. He says one thing about their finances while she says something else. Because their stories conflict, there is an immediate problem requiring resolution. Either one is telling the complete truth while the other is lying, or both of them are not being totally honest. But they cannot both be telling the truth if they are taking opposite positions.
These types of circumstances occur all the time in divorce proceedings. They illustrate the need for honesty. In fact, honesty is always the best policy in a divorce. Being dishonest only creates more problems that have to be resolved before divorce can be finalized.
Dishonesty Can Hurt Children
Contentious couples are known to use their shared children to get to one another. According to Chicago-based ABM Family Law, this happens far more often than it should. What disputing couples fail to realize is that such actions are a form of dishonesty. And in the worst cases, spouses outright lie about one another in order to gain the upper hand in custody disputes.
The sad truth is that such dishonesty can hurt the children. It almost always does. Kids do not want to see their parents split up, even amicably. But when a contentious divorce is fueled by lies, children are hurt even more deeply. They see the worst come out of their parents rather than the best. They have to live with that.
Dishonesty Has Financial Implications
ABM divorce attorneys say that divorcing couples are required by law to fully disclose income, debts, assets, and any other financial data requested by each other’s attorneys. ABM also says that courts are fully prepared to enforce disclosure obligations. What does this mean? It means that being dishonest can have financial repercussions.
If one spouse failed to fully comply with disclosure obligations, the court could react adversely upon discovering it. A sympathetic judge could award the other spouse full or partial ownership of a previously undisclosed asset. The party who failed to make full disclosure could face civil penalties and fines. The court might even order the offending spouse pay the other’s court costs.
Dishonesty Prolongs Cases
Being both honest and amicable can mean settling a divorce in as little as six months in some states. On the other end of the spectrum, being contentious and dishonest can prolong a case for years. The more dishonest one party is, the longer it takes to sort out the issues their dishonesty creates. What could have been resolved in six months could take several years, leading to tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills. That is a steep price to pay for digging in one’s heels.
Honesty Is the Right Thing
If none of the other reasons matter to divorcing couples, being honest is still the right thing to do. Honesty is always the best policy because it is ethical, moral, and right. We all know that to be true, which is why dishonesty is frowned upon even in modern culture.
Divorce is already a difficult thing with negative financial and personal implications. For people with certain religious backgrounds, divorce also has negative moral implications. Why make a bad situation worse by not being honest? It doesn’t make sense.
In closing, ABM Family Law says that divorce attorneys expect their clients to be honest at all times. Attorneys cannot properly represent their clients if they are not being given truthful information. Despite how couples might feel about one another in the midst of divorce, honesty is always the best policy.