Can polygraph test results be used in your favor?

Most readers would agree that family life, in general, can get very messy at times. In fact, the face of family life in America has vastly changed through recent decades. It's no longer a given that households contain married mothers and fathers, with a mother staying home to raise children and a father going out to work every day. You might live in a single-parent home or one you share with your child's other parent while unmarried.

What poses a problem for your family may be completely irrelevant to another. For most families, however, unresolved problems can turn into a disaster, especially if those involved happen to be navigating child custody or some other type of family law proceedings. If you're preparing to face off in court regarding a child custody situation, or your child's other parent has accused you of domestic violence, there may come a time when you are asked to take a test to see if you're telling the truth.

Should you take the test?

Polygraph tests are also known as lie detectors. On the one hand, you might be thinking that since you always tell the truth, there's nothing to worry about should someone ask you to take one of these tests during court proceedings. Anyone preparing to take a polygraph should be aware that results are often conflicting and unreliable. Keeping the following information in mind may help you better understand polygraph testing and whether it would be beneficial (or detrimental) to your case:

  • Generally speaking, polygraphs measure changes in breathing and blood pressure; the central premise of its use is to detect untruthful statements. It's thought that most people experience physiological changes in breathing and blood pressure when they lie.
  • You might be an individual who gets very nervous when hooked up to tubes, wires or machines of any sort, like in a medical atmosphere. You should know then, that your anxiety going into a polygraph test may affect its results.
  • The laws regarding polygraph test result admissions in court have changed throughout the years. Currently, it's up to judges to decide whether to allow lie detector test results to be admitted as evidence in their courtrooms. 
  • If you're working with an attorney to fight against false domestic violence accusations, you may be asked to submit to a polygraph test as part of a case evaluation. Even if test results are not admissible as evidence, your attorney can mention the test results of your evaluation, which means it would be brought to the court's attention that results suggested you were telling the truth.

The laws that govern polygraph test taking are not like those that govern, say, a Breathalyzer test, where you may suffer automatic consequences like a driver's license suspension if you refuse to submit to the test. Therefore, it's typically best to seek experienced guidance if you're unsure whether you should take a polygraph and how results may or may not affect your particular case in court.

In complicated child custody situations or those where one parent accuses the other of wrongdoing, many Kentucky residents choose to act alongside aggressive legal representation to combat the tactics and strategies the other side employs. 

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