EMAIL: Beth wrote:
I love your new podcast!! I heard about it from the Diva Cast and thought I would have a listen. Well today at work, I caught up on all your episodes (Dear Zanny). I can correlate some of your advice to other events in my life (the cat and mouse and projection of your own feelings of yourself onto other), so I thought I would e-mail with my current dilemma.I have a close friend of 20+ years (since grade school) who is going through a very nasty divorce and custody battle. She has lied about a lot of things (to avoid visitation, etc), done things that I don’t agree with her other children, had her boyfriend move in with us and more…We were roommates (her, me and a total of 7 kids, OY!) and we had a falling out about a bunch of stuff and decided to not extend our lease.
Well, when I moved out, someone told the custody evaluator that I moved because her boyfriend moved in (which she tells the courts he is not living there, and not her bf), and that I was frightened for my kids life…. Which is one of the major factors they are considering and now suggesting full custody go to the Dad. While I did disagree with her BF moving in (and it was a part of our falling out, but not the entire reason) I was not fearful of him. Long story short, she now wants me to testify on her behalf, to validate these lies and advise that I did not move out because of her friend, and to give testimony to her character. I know that if I testify….her ex’s lawyer is going to bring up everything that they believe she has lied about (the boyfriend, breastfeeding, nanny stuff, etc)…and well, I know that she was lying. The custody of a 9-month old is at stake. If I go and am asked these things, I know she will definiately lose custody. I know that she has caused this by her own actions. But it is hard knowing that what I know and feel could make such an impact and probably end our friendship for good.
I do want to make it clear that I am in no way asking if I should lie under oath…because I will not do that. I am really stuck here.
ZANNY’S Generic Response for similar situations:
Oy is right! This can seem like a tough call, but it’s really not. Why? Because since a decision to “not lie under oath” has already been determined – the ball falls in the friend’s court – she has to determine if she wants someone to testify and tell their version of the truth. It would be a good idea to share what one’s version of the truth is… that way there are no surprises on trial day. Lastly, it is highly unlikely that a judge would award sole custody to one parent – Yes, it happens, but (usually) only with extenuating circumstances such as child endangerment, parental drug use, or/and neglect.