In family law often spouses will have two distinctly different recollections of the same event. This happens frequently and each spouse passionately believes their version of events that occurred. It leaves one wondering how this can be? Is one spouse telling the truth and the other spouse lying?

It turns out that memories are faulty. Daniela Schiller of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai states “memories are malleable constructs that are reconstructed with each recall … to each recalling there are attached emotional details.”

What this means is that each time we recall a memory we may alter it or add new information to it and memories are altered based on the emotions or feelings you are experiencing at that time. The result is that two spouses will end up with entirely different recollections of events that each believe are real. This is especially true in a high conflict divorce where emotions are high.

One judge commented after hearing the testimony of two spouses which were vastly different that it was hard to believe these people lived in the same family.

Deborah Todd Law
Deborah A. Todd