As a family law attorney in Santa Rosa, California I see all different dynamics at play: in some cases, both parties are engaged in a tango in which they want to “one-up” the other one. In other cases, there is quite simply only one person who is driving the conflict.
Because the “evidence” in family law cases takes the form of written declarations, and Judges are overwhelmed, the case often simply becomes a contest of story-telling: whoever tells the biggest lies which match up with the perceptions of the court wins. The documents, which are actually the only way to tell who is lying, remain unread within the file and the more that gets filed by unscrupulous attorneys the thicker and more opaque the case file becomes.
Thus the wrongdoer always has the advantage in family law cases. They are the kind of people who have always been dishonest and see themselves as superior to people who trust them. They aren’t smarter, just meaner, but they don’t know the difference. When they come in front of the court, they have a practical ability to mislead, and if they were married to someone who was not that way, are born to win in family court.