Wait! I Never Said That! How Your Spouse Can Try to Game the System
As long as there has been litigation, there have been parties willing and able to use fraudulent evidence. It’s used to sway a judge or jury or pressure the other party into an unfavorable settlement. The only thing that’s changed is that the technology used to create these fakes has improved, but they can still be exposed as fraud.
Why This is a Really Bad Idea
Using fabricated evidence is an all-or-nothing strategy. Depending on the situation and the materials used, a spouse could get away with this and reach their goals. But if it’s exposed, no judge will tolerate a party trying to engage in fraud against the court. If this happens and your case goes to a trial, the judge may not permit your spouse to present any evidence, so the case will be decided based on your side of the story.
No competent attorney will be involved in knowingly presenting falsified evidence in any legal matter. If they do, they risk being professionally sanctioned and their reputation tainted. No client is worth it. If your spouse falsifies a government document or forges your signature, they may be criminally charged.
That Doesn’t Mean Your Spouse Won’t Try It
The fake evidence someone may use is only limited by their imagination and ability to produce it. It can be as simple as falsely describing a conversation the two of you had. If there are no witnesses or recordings, it’s your word against your spouse’s. Other kinds of fake evidence are more complicated:
- Text messages or emails can be altered or fabricated, but you should have copies of the messages you send. You should keep copies of any messages sent by your spouse in case they later change something sent to you.
- Faked phone messages would require changes by audio editing software. This software is free, openly available, and with a little practice, your spouse may be able to create a new message that sounds natural. If this happens, its authenticity can be challenged. If they claim you left it on a specific date and time, through your phone records you should be able to show you didn’t call your spouse then. A judge should only accept a voicemail recording from your husband’s service provider, not one downloaded from your spouse’s laptop.
- Your spouse may alter or create pictures and videos using Photoshop, Filmora, or similar software. You and others present when the event took place may testify what’s presented didn’t happen. An expert can also analyze the images and testify that the photos or videos have been altered and how it was done.
- The next frontier of fakery is using artificial intelligence to create audio or video recordings. Software and apps are available to do this, but the result would need to be convincing if someone wants to use it as evidence. There can be testimony asserting that what’s in the video never happened, and expert testimony could show it’s the result of video and audio manipulation
If your spouse presents you with faked material they threaten to use, don’t panic. It may be good for your case. After it’s shown to be fake, your spouse will have no credibility, which is critical in divorce and child custody cases, and it may substantially hamper their ability to tell their side of the story to a judge. It also shows how desperate your spouse is and how fearful they are of your evidence.
Get the Help You Need From a Lawyer You Can Trust
If you need help with a divorce or child custody dispute, use our online calendar to schedule a free consultation or call us at (215) 752-6200.