While people are certainly entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts.  Unfortunately, because the our legal system encourages complexity and bases decisions on arcane, often illogical, byzantine rules which encourage gamesmanship rather than fostering an environment that discourages falsehoods, you, the truth-teller are in no advantageous position for being such.

In any family law matter (or lawsuit for that matter) the search for the truth rests upon the search for documentation, with those being in control of the documentation and armed with the rules of “discovery” as it is termed, having all the power.  Discovery, it has been said, is a means through which the information-rich are able to deprive the information-poor of the means to prosecute their cases.  With money being the driving force that can throw up the roadblocks, again and again, and courts often reticent to step in and stop the abuse, we are left with a system in which the truth really creates a liability for those who want to tell it, because unlike liars and perjurers, the story cannot get better with the telling.  It is what it is.

Coupled with this dynamic is the reality that surrounds what many of us consider to be the truth.

According to Steve Novella, a neuroscientist 

When someone looks at me and earnestly says, “I know what I saw,” I am fond of replying, “No you don’t.” You have a distorted and constructed memory of a distorted and constructed perception, both of which are subservient to whatever narrative your brain is operating under.

One of the more dramatic aspects of memory distortion is false memories. These can be completely fabricated memories that are indistinguishable from genuine memories. False memories can involve small details, or entire scenarios. One way to fabricate false memories is with suggestion – just suggesting to someone a detail of an experience they had may cause them to incorporate that detail into their memory of the experience.

The apparent reason for this is that our brains appear to favor consistency over accuracy. Memories are updated to bring them into line with our current knowledge. If we are told that the person was wearing a blue jacket, then our memory might change so that it is consistent with what we now believe to be true.

Psychologists have a number of ways of generating false memories in the lab. One method is to show subjects a video of an event. Then allow them to read a written description of the same event, containing or even just suggesting details that differ from the video. A certain percentage of subjects will incorporate the suggested but incorrect details into their memory. When asked they will “remember” those details in the video.