It never fails. One of the aggrieved parties to a divorce tells the dirty details to the child regarding the other parent. This is never appropriate or “ok.” Never. Never to a young child. What about when….? No. Never.
But that parent, with their righteous indignation tells me, or testifies, “I do NOT lie to my child?” My response? “Well, what about the Tooth Fairy?“
We lie to our children a lot. A LiveScience.com article stated it better, “Parents Lie to Children Surprisingly Often.” This article concluded that parent’s lie to protect their child and lie to preserve some semblance of innocence and childhood for their children. These are all good things.
The Tooth Fairy question gets that indignant parent every time. There is no good reason to spill the beans about the other parent’s misdeeds to the child. You should be telling them that “mommy” loves them very much. Not that she cares more about dancing on a pole with bikers than being a decent mom, even if it’s true. When the kids are older they will realize the truth and appreciate you all the more for allowing them to have a childhood and to love their other parent, even if the other parent did not deserve it.
It’s okay to lie to your children. Who says so? Me, a divorce attorney.
Disagree? Tell me why in comments or via email.
Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody Attorney in Mississippi and believes sometimes lying to your children is in their best interests.
Everyone knows that Adultery is a fault ground for divorce in Mississippi. Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex, not your spouse. It also must be uncondoned, which means legally forgiven by the other spouse, and it cannot have been committed in collusion with the other spouse just to gain a divorce. MCA § 93-5-1.
However, Adultery may also be considered crime!
§ 97-29-1. Adultery and fornication; unlawful cohabitation
If any man and woman shall unlawfully cohabit, whether in adultery or fornication, they shall be fined in any sum not more than five hundred dollars each, and imprisoned in the county jail not more than six months; and it shall not be necessary, to constitute the offense, that the parties shall dwell together publicly as husband and wife, but it may be proved by circumstances which show habitual sexual intercourse.
So in addition to having a divorce granted against the offending party they could also be arrested and prosecuted and face a $500.00 fine and/or up to 6 months in the county jail. And that may not even be the worst of it with the potential for an Alienation of Affection lawsuit out there. (It’s actionable to sue someone for the breakdown of your marriage, a blog for another day).