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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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I understand I am supposed to separate instances where my ex

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I understand I am supposed to separate instances where my ex has violated the parenting plan, or instances of defamation of character... however, I still do not understand how far I can go back. I mean, obviously she has been doing this since we first separated.. but what will the courts entertain? Does this have to be a kind of "death by a thousand paper cuts" kind of deal where I just keep filing things against her? Also, back before we divorced, she had an affair with a county Sherriff. To make a long story short, she got caught, lied about it and was forced by Internal affairs to take a lie detector test. She failed. Can I use that example in everything I file against her as a sort of example of what her character is? Just curious. Thanks for your help.

Thank you for your question and thank you again for requesting me directly. Please allow me to help.

Please allow me to answer a bit in a generality here as there is no direct 'one-size-fits-all' answer. Typically for fitness courts look to factors such as history of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, drug use, alcohol abuse, mental illness, criminality, and moral turpitude (such as lying). But the latter is generally more used for purposes of impeachment or attacking her further testimony (by showing that she has a history of not being honest in court and therefore her testimony may be untrue), but it generally does not naturally follow that because she is a known liar that she is a bad parent. I hope you can see the distinction here. So that, likely, is a non-issue pertaining to attacking her parenting but may be an issue to attack her testimony by showing her past history of not being truthful.

In terms of how far back, it very much depends on the cause of action but typically no more than 2 years--the courts really do not want to have their time wasted by pointing out all faults from the start of the relationship as the past violations if any may simply be beyond the scope at this point.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq. and 8 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That sounds ok. Im not wanting to attack her parenting. But if I file something for defamation of character such as her telling my kids that I beat her, that Im a wife beater, and she denies it, I'd like to say "Hey look, shes a proven liar, this court cannot take her word. If my child says she said it, then she said it." Am I correct in doing so? Or am I stretching. Another example of where I would like to use this is to enforce the the parenting plan. Id like to tell the court that she withheld the children on me from Christmas. If she denies it, Id like to point to the fact that she is a proven liar and that her denial is most likely false. Am I stretching here?

Thank you for your follow-up, Chris.

Technically lying to her children and creating parental alienation is attacking her parenting on basis of neglect. As for your argument, that is stretching it a bit--you can bring in past testimony and evidence of her past testimony where she either perjured herself or was inconsistent solely as a means of attacking her current credibility, but you cannot simply claim that even if she is a proven liar (which the courts have to make a determination on), that it naturally follows that she is lying today. There is a disconnect there, since her past comments do not necessarily reflect current information. As for your withholding, same logic applies, but with that claim you can hopefully request that the courts speak with the children in private in her chambers as corroboration of your position. But same logic applies again, you can bring up evidence of her past claims, and make an argument that she has a history of not telling the truth, but it would not follow that she is automatically lying on the stand at that particular time. I am not attempting to give you a hard time here, but what you are attempting to do is trying to convict her of a current offense based on past and completely unrelated history, and that is not really possible.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq. and 8 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you