Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged process on its own, but when a spouse is not forthcoming, it adds a layer of complexity. Not only that, but it’s hurtful, stressful, and can cause you to well up with anxiety about what might happen next.
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How to Identify Deception
Any divorce, no matter how amicable, is filled with some degree of heartache, confusion, and a sense of loss. In and of itself, these raw emotions are enough to make the situation stressful. But when you have one spouse lying – or intentionally not being forthcoming with key details – it adds a new layer of complexity and anguish to the situation.
Some of the signs and red flags of a lying spouse include:
- Inconsistent stories: The biggest indicator that your spouse is lying is inconsistency with stories. If you notice inconsistencies or contradictions in their accounts of events, finances, or other pertinent details, it could be a sign of dishonesty.
- Financial discrepancies: The two biggest factors in most divorces are child custody and finances. Thus, you can expect to see most deception revolve around these two areas. When it comes to finances, lying often gets ticked up a notch because the other spouse can find ways to disguise and “fudge” numbers. Deception may manifest through hidden assets, undisclosed income, or suspicious financial transactions. Keep a close eye on bank statements, tax returns, and other financial records for irregularities.
- Changes in behavior: Has your spouse suddenly started acting differently? Do they talk differently? Has their schedule suddenly shifted in a way that’s not normal to their previous routines? Are they more defensive than before? Pay attention to these shifts in behavior as they can be indicative of something happening beneath the surface.
Here’s the thing you have to know about deception in a divorce case: Feeling like your spouse is lying isn’t enough. In fact, even confidently knowing that your spouse isn’t being truthful isn’t necessarily enough. You have to prove – with facts – that they are lying.
How to Respond When Your Spouse is Lying
If it looks like a pig and it oinks like a pig, it’s probably a pig. And if your spouse seems like they’re lying and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting this theory, there’s a good chance they’re lying.
Here’s what you can do to turn your assumptions into factual evidence that can be used in your case.
Hire an Attorney
In a high-stakes divorce where another spouse is being dishonest, hiring a divorce attorney isn’t just a recommendation – it’s a must. A divorce lawyer understands what to look for in a case, how to pick apart lies, and the best methods of building a case that positions you well for a positive outcome.
Selecting the right attorney is very important. Look for an attorney with a family law background who has a track record of handling similar cases in the past. Don’t be afraid to consult with two or three attorneys before making a hiring decision.
Keep meticulous records of all communication, financial transactions, and interactions with your spouse. This includes emails, text messages, voicemails, and in-person conversations.
While there are certain limitations that prevent you from snooping into your spouse’s personal/confidential belongings, your status as a spouse gives you legal access to a lot of good evidence. Consult with your attorney to find out more.
Confront Your Spouse
Confronting a dishonest spouse can be a very delicate process – particularly when you aren’t on great terms to begin with. For best results, you might consider mediation or involve your attorney directly in the process. You have to strike a careful balance between asserting your rights and being cooperative.
If your spouse won’t admit to anything or give up any ground, you’ll have to take a more direct approach. Your attorney can explain how the legal process unfolds and begin to follow formal procedures for handling these claims.
Be Proactive With Your Divorce
The best thing you can do for your sanity (and the long-term outcome of your divorce) is to uncover and expose the lies your spouse is telling and set the record straight. This will give you the best chance of a successful outcome and fresh new start after the divorce. Learn how to prepare for initial consultation with your divorce attorney.