Is the family courthouse really a “Perjury Palace”?

I just read an interesting OpEd piece by Sylvia Clute, author of “Beyond Vengeance, Beyond Duality: A Call for a Compassionate Revolution”.  Her article is called “The Courtroom’s Little Lie:  It’s About the Whole Truth”  In the article she states that the very adversarial system that promises justice encourages family litigants to tell “little white lies” in order to win their cases, because the issues at stake are so high.  “Consider what can be at stake in a divorce suit” she writes. “First of all, you can lose custody of your children. You might lose your home or your business. The IRS might come after you if your spouse testifies about income that you never reported. Your spouse might report illegal drug use, especially relevant in a custody case.”  She contrasts this system with the collaborative law system, where both attorneys work together to assist their clients in finding a “win-win resolution for everyone.”  My collaborative clients often ask me how they can trust their spouse to be honest and forthcoming with information, and I tell them that there is a much better chance for the truth to emerge when the resolution is in the hands of the couple who are communicating in a non-threatening, confidential arena, then when it’s in the hands of a judge.  Collaborative lawyers, when they are drafting agreements, can fashion language that is as protective of their client’s rights as any court-ordered decrees — in fact, they are often more protective, because both lawyers and their clients must be completely comfortable with the language before anybody signs.  I have much more confidence that “justice” will emerge from a collaborative approach than from within the very system that advertises that justice as its goal.