Tag Archives: perjury

The Top 5 Lies of Divorce Clients

There is an old lawyer joke… How do you tell when your client is lying to you?  When their lips are moving.  Lying to your lawyer is a really bad idea for multiple reasons.  It is primarily bad because advice can change based on the facts of your circumstance and if we, as the lawyer, do not know the facts our advice may not be right.  And the whole perjury thing is bad too.  Without further ado, here are the top 5 lies that clients tell.

  • 5.  Lies about Income.  
  • Clients that make a lot of money often understate their income.  Also, I have had clients say they make more than they do, I guess because of embarrassment.  It is a really bad idea to lie about income regardless of the reason.  The other party has the right to get pay records directly from your bank or employer and lying about making more than you do can result in you paying more than you owe.
  • 4.  Lies about their role within the Home.  
  • The husband comes in and says he does all of the cooking, cleaning, child rearing and otherwise paints himself as Martha Stewart, when he is more like Haagar the Horrible.  Out pillaging, but not big on household chores.  This matters because it effects the division of assets and has custody and alimony applications.
  • 3.  Lies about Other Marital Fault.
  • #3 is other marital fault because it is saving room for #1.  But this means that the client tells you about how awful the other party was.  How they were attacked or provoked and only reacted and defended themselves.  They “forgot” to mention the domestic violence conviction and the meth lab in the garage.  Oops.
  • 2.  Lies about Value$.
  • In a similar vein to lies about income, clients understate the value of investments, collectibles and businesses.  This can be very significant and a husband that misled the Court about the value of his privately owned business resulted in the wife coming back after the fact and getting more value when he had a falling out with a business partner.  Also, that 1953 Chevrolet Coupe is worth more than you are saying it is.
  • 1.  Lies about Adultery.
  • #1 for a reason.  It’s hard to admit when you are wrong.  By the way, “I didn’t have an affair, it was just a one-night stand,” is still an affair. It is adultery.  Lying about this can bumfoozle a legal strategy of trying to prevent the divorce.   If the other party has grounds against you and wants a divorce they can get it.  If you lie about it chances are you will eventually be caught.

These are just some of the lies told everyday.  It is important to tell your lawyer the truth, including the dirty details. It can make a difference in your case.

Matthew Thompson is a Divorce Attorney in Mississippi and encourages potential clients to tell your lawyer the truth!

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The Great Debate? Not in Court.

If you or I answered questions in Court like the presidential candidates do at the recent town hall debate we would be running the risk of being held in Contempt!

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com

In Court parties/witnesses must answer the question asked.  It is preferred that the answer be “yes” or “no” and then an explanation offered if necessary.  Obviously if it’s not a “yes or no question,” answer the question asked.  This can be very difficult to do and takes practice to get this right.  One of the things that can aid this is to practice or rehearse the actual questions with your attorney.  By way of example, one of the candidates was asked does the Dept of Energy consider its role to work to reduce gas prices.  The answer given was not “yes” or “no.”  I am actually not sure what the answer was…and I listened to it.

If you find yourself in Court, not answering the question asked may result in the Court to conclude you are being deceptive.  This is not an impression you want to create.

Another thing to be sure of is to answer only the question asked.  Do not answer what is not asked and do not offer more than what is asked.  The best example I can think of is when a party was asked if they had committed an affair with “Mary” since the separation.  The answer was, “I have not committed an affair with ‘Mary’…since the separation.”  There was an awkward pause.  The awkward pause resulted in the follow up question of when did you commit your affair with Mary.  The party told on himself by not just saying “No” which would have been a completely truthful answer to the question asked.

Answer Yes or No.  Explain if necessary.  Sometimes less is more.

Matthew Thompson

Thompson Law Firm, PLLC    (601) 850-8000

Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com