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Affidavit ... and lies. Remedy?

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  • Affidavit ... and lies. Remedy?

    If one spouse paints a horrible picture of another spouse in an Affidavit, how does one go about disproving the allegations?

    Is it a case of my Affidavit is better than yours when in front of a Judge?

    Is there a way to see past this smoke and mirrors when and Affidavit is considered very negative in nature?


  • #2
    An affidavit is sworn testimony in writing.

    In a sense it is your word against theirs.

    If there is a lot of contradictions to the facts the court may order a viva voice trial. Judges are trained to see past the smoke and mirrors and are very good judges of character. The are trained to see the whole picture.

    IF it is discovered that a person is untruthful even on a small insignificant claim or statement this could swing the judges opinion.

    Credibility is everything in family law matters. Rules for evidence are slightly laxed.

    Affidavits are supopose to stick to the facts and are not meant to be be based on hersay or opinion.

    Often they are sad creations to a fictional story.

    Perception is everything. A judge is always looking at your stature and body language.


    • #3
      Thanks LV, have passed on your wisdom to my friend.



      • #4
        It is so true that judges are great judges of character!! (pun intended)

        I have been through 4 motions over 6 days so far with 4 different judges and despite the over-the-top statements about me and my supposed character from my ex, the judge has seen through him every time. My ex is so volatile that during our case conference when we were sent to a private room with our attornies to see what issues could be resolved before we went back, he lost control several times. He was so agitated at my presence that he was gripping the table while shouting at his lawyer about me, " SEE!!!??? THAT IS EXActly WHAT i HAD TO DEAL WITH OUR WHOLE MARRIAGE!!!" He was jumping out of his seat each time I spoke and when he couldn't take it anymore he stormed out of the room 3X.

        It is very maddening to read these false statements about your character, and it only gets somewhat easier each time you read them.

        I spent a lot of money responding to my ex's some 50 points in each of his affidavits, but after awhile(no lawyer will tell you this) you can combine your answers and only answer what is crucial in your mind. I like the following answer, " DISAGREE, The statement bears little resemblance to fact."" OR DISAGREE, once again the Respondent's statement bears little resemblance to reality(fact, the truth).

        Really, the best advice I can give you that no one gave me 12 months ago- AIM TO SETTLE RIGHT AWAY!! stop the written bashing and the one-upmanship that affidavits cause. The reality is that you both have chosen to be apart, the settlement is a somewhat simple way to put in writing how exactly you want to settle the matter with finances, real estate, child/spousal support, possessions, visitation etc. IF your situation goes to trial you will be in a much better position to obtain "costs" from your ex if he has refused a similar offer that the judge has handed down. Trust me, no one wins with those Affidavits filled with all of the hard feelings in the marriage. I can show you at least 10 on each side in my situation that got me NOWHERE!!!(but poorer due to the cost involved)


        • #5
          The Ugly Affidavit

          The nature of a family law case is that the interim motion is often the most important single event in the proceeding. In the last five years, the number of motions in family law has increased by 150 percent. (Ministry of the Attorney General)

          Evidence is presented by affidavit. Human nature is such that it is far easier to lie on paper than in the witness box. As stated in the Ontario Civil Justice Review, First Report, the single greatest complaint about lawyers by members of the public was with respect to the damage to family relationships caused by the allegations in these affidavits - where, it is widely acknowledged, perjury is rampant and, moreover, goes unpunished.

          Lawyers & clients, worry lest an allegation go unanswered. They therefore respond in kind and this continues the snowball on its course down that treacherous hill.


          • #6
            Thanks Grace and Indepedentgirl.



            • #7
              I have been in court for years and have completed at least 10 affidavits. They are expensive and after a while you get good at it. They are a version of the 'facts' as you and the ex understand them to be. And you can lie, lie, lie and get away with it. Sick... yup. And as Grace stated, usually with no punishment or anything. Affidavits are also protected, so you cannot sue or take other actions against the allegations. But there they are, the lies, in black and white. For all to see.

              My ex would put all kinds of aweful things in the affidavits. I was called child abuser and all kinds of horrible things, but it did not matter to my case. Judges do what they want. She would also make them so hard to follow that it would throw the judge off. Which is what she wanted.

              Some judges do not read affidavits. Some only read one side (nice, eh).

              So some advice:

              - keep things very to the point
              - have good examples backed up with witness statements and a log book
              - have good notes and document everything
              - never be around the ex without a witness
              - answer allegations very firmly and direct (as the other posted stated)
              - don't be dragged into a big he said/she said in the affidavit
              - don't drag in parenting or ex spouse stuff
              - stay focused
              - write as much of it as you can to keep your costs down

              Always go in to the court fearing the worse - so be prepared, prepared and then prepare again. Expect the judge to only read the ex's affidavit. Have your defense and your offense planned on this. Expect her to get away with anything. Remaining calm and cool, citing facts backed up with evidence.

              Be calm and cool. If the ex states you are the big mean bully, nothing like losing your cool in front of the judge to prove her right. When the ex states you are aterrible parent, be cool and calmily state parenting facts. have pictures of you bathing the kids. If the spouse claims you are a child abuser, did she call CAS. What did she do about it? If it was such a concern, why was nothing done? If the ex claims you hit her, where are the police reports? What eveidence does she have against that. Soon her affidavit will fall apart.

              Good luck. Anything else you need to know?


              • #8
                BTW, I assume you are the respondent. That is too bad. You are already behind the 8-ball. The applicant drives the process. Family Court is the only court in the world where the defendent has to prove their innocence, not the prosecution (the applicant) proving your guilt.

                - you hit your wife - prove you do not
                - you abuse the children - prove you do not
                - you are a bad parent - prove you are a good parent

                and on an on...

                Fantastic system, eh. Our government in action. Nice.


                • #9
                  So true, when I read my ex's affividavit I near had a heart attack, who was she talking about it sure wasn't me. So of course my first reponse was to reply in kind, fortunatley my lawyer would have nothing to do with this type of mud slinging, insisted we submit a fair and accurate affidavit. It seems judges in most cases would be able to see through the crap if done honestly. In hind sight if you think about it you have one side writing all this crap and the other does not reply in kind it does kinda say something about ones character. Turns out it took more time than I had hoped but yep absolutely, stick with the facts forget the crap. It really is hard not to respond when some attacks our character thats for sure. Certainly at this particular time when you really don't know who might buy into the BS.


                  • #10
                    Same experience as me to a "T"......the person described in the affidavit by my ex would scare the sh*t out of me and it was about me !. I couldn't believe it either, it was so shocking and ridiculous. My lawyer wanted to strike from the record the defamatory statements, I said" leave them there,let the judge see it". Although my ex's affidavit was all about me, my lawyer insisted my affidavit be all about me too, high road tactic,just talk about yourself. It is all so scripted it is sickening, I think it makes victims out of everybody, what a torment for already hurting broken people suffering duress.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bearall
                      It is all so scripted it is sickening,

                      High road is always the best to take. Don't get caught up in the game of who can throw the most mud and see what sticks. I'm with you that it is all so scripted, especially once the lawyers do their legalese rewrites to support case law, you left scratching your head.


                      • #12
                        Grace is right on. Always be very cool and calm. The judge does not want to read 50 pages of rambling how you and your ex marriage fell apart and how she is a b*tch.

                        Also, it doesn't hurt to agree (slightly) with one or two of her statements. It shows that you are reasonable.

                        For example:

                        Lets says the ex states "On Tuesday May 10, 2004, big-mean-dad yelled at me and I was upset. Obvisouly we cannot co-parent, because big-mean-dad is scares me"

                        You may want to say "Not true" or you could say something like "Divorce is difficult on both parties and a time of high emotion. On one occassion there may have been some tension during a transition where both parents were agitated and upset. I would like to avoid this in the future. Perhaps a solution would be to transition at daycare"

                        Or something like that... just a thought.


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