Illinois child custody: Liars common, but not invincible

As a Chicago divorce lawyer, I see people lie frequently. Very frequently. But in a hearing a few days ago, I almost completely dismantled the opposing client under cross-examination.

Good news: liars are often stupid

The problem with Illinois family law is that so much of it is “he said, she said.” There is so much “creativity” in testimony that’s it’s a wonder that judges don’t burst out in laughter.

However, the opposing party in my recent hearing seemingly has no bounds to her dishonesty. Though the case has been going on for more than six months (and my client was previously represented by a high-priced lawyer in a fancy building), the recent hearing was the first one wear the opposing client was actually made to account for her crazy accusations.

Child custody liar folded under cross examination

Under my cross examination, the other party stammered like a fool, to say the least. The problem for her was that her lies and intentional mischaracterizations have become so extravagant that she can’t possibly maintain believability.

I think one of my important tasks is to help my client focus on which of the other party’s lies are potentially substantive, and which are drivel. Then, of the lies that are substantive, I believe in helping my client assembler the evidence required to expose the other party appropriately.

People that lie in court commit perjury. It is almost impossible to get the state’s attorney to prosecute a perjury case. However, one can also be held in contempt of court for lying in court – an option I’m more than willing to explore for my clients.

It is important to understand that child custody liars don’t just lie on the stand, they lie at every opportunity, such as in a UCCJEA judicial teleconference when the are trying to effectuate what amounts to a kidnapping; see my article titled “Interestate child custody jurisdiction: UCCJEA ‘judicial teleconference’ is critical” to find out more about that.


About the author: Contact Illinois family law attorney David Wolkowitz at 312-554-5433 or online. He is a family law and divorce attorney serving Chicago and the Counties of Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Areas of practice include divorce, uncontested divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, child support, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”).