Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people – Spencer Johnson
American physician and writer, Spencer Johnson said it right with the above quote. I believe that integrity and honesty are the two parts needed to make up the whole truth. And for the best chance of success at Family Court you need the whole truth.
Intergrity – The story of Nigel’s denial.
Christmas is rarely the pyjama-wearing, food-coma, festive-film marathon that I dream of. This year was no exception. I spent the yuletide cooking and making endless cups of tea for familiar and unfamiliar faces. One of the unfamiliar faces was Nigel (not his real name). Accompanying a family member, Nigel joined us for Christmas dinner. He was pleasant enough, helpful and surprisingly polite. He was also very sharing with his personal drama. As a lesson in integrity for us all to learn from, here’s his rather short story.
Nigel told us that his ex of many years cheated on him and left him for the other guy. Nigel and his ex have a child together who he now no longer sees. That’s it. That’s the drama in the matter-of-fact way that Nigel dropped it. As a result of the ex moving away with the other guy and stopping contact between him and his child, Nigel is taking the ex to court.
Nigel’s drama is a story we’ve all heard about someone somewhere. Yet, while the rest of my family were offering words of comfort in the form of insults to his ex, I couldn’t help but wonder:
- What’s really going on here?
- Why has she really stopped you seeing your child?
In a round-about way I approached the questions and Nigel seemed surprisingly confused. Apparently, there are no viable reasons for her behaviour. Hmmm. Really, Nigel?
Nigel informed us that he’s already spoken to Fathers4Justice and they’ve told him exactly what to do. Nigel’s confidence is further boosted by his thought that the ex will not attend the hearing anyway. Case closed.
As far as I’m concerned, Nigel is in denial. What if the ex does attend the first hearing? Not only does she attend, but what if she is prepped, confident and ready to defend her case? Women are complicated and hugely underestimated. There are reasons why the ex has stopped contact. To deny these reasons is to go to court unprepared.
The lesson in Nigel’s story is to be honest with yourself. Don’t rely on only half the picture when, actually, the key to court success is to see the whole picture. Knowing what’s likely to be said about you means that you can have a response ready to fire back. Rather than sitting shocked and disillusioned when the ex comes to court prepped and ready to defend their side.
There’s no fooling family court…
During some late night phone-scrolling, I stumbled upon the story of a woman who lost it all at family court because of a lie. Being honest with yourself is one thing, being honest with other people is certainly another. The full story is available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5226127/Woman-accused-ex-abuse-barred-seeing-daughter.html
Basically, a mother falsely accused her ex of sexually abusing their child. The lie snow-balled out of control and in the end the mother was barred from seeing her child, who now lives with the father.
Save yourself the devastation and don’t lie to help your case. I speak from experience when I say that there is no fooling family court. Lies get exposed, difficult questions get asked and ultimately the truth comes out. If the only way to strengthen your case is to lie, try mediation.
The whole truth and nothing but the truth…
The very first step to feeling prepped and confident to represent yourself at family court is to know the truth. Not half the picture, like Nigel, but the whole truth. It’s no good knowing the truth in the back of your mind but choosing to lie to the court. If you’ve read the above article then you’ll know it’s a strategy proven not to work.
The best, and really the only, way to achieve success at family court is to tell yourself and everyone involved in your case the truth. The whole truth.
For more on achieving success at family court read 5 Steps to Statement Success – Writing your Statement for Family Court
What does success at family court mean for you?
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Until next time…