4 Things To Know About False Allegations Of Abuse

domestic violence In his most recent Huffington Post column, Cordell & Cordell Principal Partner Joe Cordell wrote about how false allegations of abuse often target men during divorce.

To be sure, domestic violence is a serious issue. Over the past several years, awareness regarding domestic violence has skyrocketed and there are now more resources to help victims than ever.

While those are positive developments, there are still some major misconceptions concerning the topic.

For one, it’s often framed as an issue that only affects women. In reality, there are millions of men who face intimate partner violence as well and they often face barriers when seeking the help and support they need since most resources are geared towards helping women.

When it comes to false allegations, the consequences can be disastrous for the accused. Unfortunately, this is a far-too-common occurrence as up to 70 percent of cases involving allegations of abuse during custody disputes are deemed unnecessary or false.

These false allegations are also primarily lobbed against men. A 2011 Stop Abusive and Violent Environments report found that 85 percent of protective orders are entered against men and Mr. Cordell previously stated that, in his experience, of that 85 percent, 90 percent are products of tactical divorce considerations.

Here are four important things to know concerning false allegations of domestic abuse.

It takes minimal evidence to obtain a protection order

If an alleging party wants to obtain a protection order, basically all they need to do is tell the judge that it is necessary.

Since this is done ex parte, the defendant doesn’t get the chance to defend him or herself. Most judges don’t want to be on the wrong end of denying a request and having an ensuing tragedy occur, will grant the request even if the accused has no history of violence.

“Since protection orders are done on an emergency, ex-parte basis, the defendant does not get an opportunity to explain their side of the case before the order is issued,” Mr. Cordell said. “This means you can be served with a protection order without even knowing charges had been filed in the first place, which can lead to a number of consequences for weeks – or even months – before you have an opportunity to stand before the judge at a formal hearing.”

Domestic violence covers an extremely large scope. A simple claim that a person feels threatened can even be considered grounds for a temporary protection order.

The nuclear weapon of divorce

Orders of protection are often referred to as the “nuclear weapon of divorce” because of the devastating effect they can have on a case, even if the allegations are later proven false.

Once one is entered against the father, it forces him out of the home, giving the mother a major advantage when fighting for custody.

Temporary orders remain in effect until a hearing can be held, which usually takes about two weeks, giving the defendant very little time to prepare.

In many jurisdictions, the defendant is given two options at the hearing: 1. Agree to a restraining order even though there was no actual abuse. 2. Proceed to an evidentiary hearing to contest the allegations.

Because there is such a low standard of proof in a domestic abuse hearing, agreeing to a restraining order is often considered an attractive option since it at least allows the defendant to continue fighting for custody.

An order of protection also adds a number of financial hurdles for the accused to clear. Suddenly they’re faced with finding a new place to live while also trying to pay for all the other costs associated with a divorce case.

Even false allegations have a long-lasting impact

One of the more unfair aspects of false abuse allegations is the fact that it doesn’t necessarily matter if the claims are eventually proven erroneous. The stigma still follows the accused.

Even if the charges are found to be completely groundless, temporary orders can still show up on criminal background checks and can hinder future employment opportunities.

Act quickly and decisively when fighting false allegations

If faced with false allegations of abuse, it is extremely important to act quickly and decisively. The steps you take in the couple of weeks leading up to your hearing will go a long way towards getting the charges dismissed.

The first thing you need to do is contact an attorney and let them know all the pertinent details of the allegations.

You will also need to begin gathering as much evidence as possible. Texts, emails, video and audio recordings can all be presented to the court during your hearing. Try to find anything and everything that portrays you in a good light.

The day of the hearing, you will also want to make sure you present a positive image to the judge. Be professional in your responses and keep a calm, composed demeanor, regardless of whatever false claims about you.

Keeping your head in court goes a long way toward helping your credibility.

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23 comments on “4 Things To Know About False Allegations Of Abuse

    I am accused of two charges of DV one charge of aggravated menacing one charge of assault resisting arrest five misdemeanor charges for one incident. I was accused of holding a gun on my wife. She told the authorities that I was suicidal and would kill any police that came to my home. All false allegations. All of this accusations come after she had been exposed in an affair. The most interesting part of this is I’ve been only been married less than one year. I should have recognized the warning signs along the way but I did not. I have protection order against me on a home and vehicles that I owned prior to ever being married 100% mine I cannot believe that our current legal system does not have any way of bearing out the truth. My life is no longer my own I have spent thousands of dollars on attorney’s fees while lshe’s living in the house that’s paid for Lock Stock & Barrel I have an efficiency apartment with a $97 Walmart futon and $128 television my job was lost based on these allegations as well as credibility with co-workers and Neighbors. The Coupe de gras was resisting arrest hands up in the air walk back to the police was not moving around at all I was then slammed to the ground punched several times and tased. The Neighbors witnessed me surrendering and not resisting however I guess the sheriff’s figured I needed a good beating anyway this is all based on false allegations the legal system in all domestic situations needs a full overhaul and checks and balances in place prior to protective order being issued if all you have to do is tell a lie to put this much Devastation on someone’s life take everything they own their freedom but give them all the bills and their old clothing that was in the Goodwill donation basket. Stacking charges along with a protective order is a way they can take an innocent man and have him convicted of at least one charge because being forced out of his house for months has made him agreeable to about anything I asked every judge in the nation to read the comments and reevaluate how they hand out protective orders. I suspect the protective order works for the female in 10% of the cases and works against them in 90% of time. I shared my story with several people and feedback from others who went through the same situation my conclusion is that men are guilty until proven innocent

    My alcoholic drug addict husband put 1 order in September against my son and myself all
    Lies than he dropped it than in October his gun went off accidentally in House I gave it to police than he put 2 order on my son and me all lies and he got the gun charge

    Our legal system is NUTS. A woman with whom I was never intimate whatsoever – a person who lied about her employment, education, family history, etc.: scammed me, our landlord, potential housemates, another property owner in our town, a local church, and an election fund raising group, out of thousands of dollars, then fled. Internet searches connected us with previous victims of her same scams in the U.S. and even England, a total of almost 20 people. The police wouldn’t get involved as rent scams, etc. are “civil crimes”. We created a web blog to warn others about her, were successful, and heard about even MORE victims after us.

    In retaliation for the blog, this person went to three domestic violence groups in three states, and obtained three restraining orders against me with her using a different name each time. In each, she lied and stated the exact same things: that she lived with me at my address for 15 years as an abused partner; that I beat and raped her, then followed her when she moved elsewhere and did it again. I got the first R.O. vacated. I couldn’t respond to the 2nd, from out of state, because our local police told me that it came to them over the phone and that they couldn’t give me any information about it! The 3rd one also came from out of state. This time, I spent several thousand dollars on a lawyer, plane fare, and a hotel, and got it vacated as well. The judge told my accuser that she thought she was lying, and ordered her to reimburse me only for legal fees, which never happened.

    It’s INSANE that a domestic violence group only wants to see “victim”, to the point where it never wants to verify ANYTHING being told them. Public records show that my accuser lived elsewhere in the “15 years that she lived with me” for example.

    It’s INSANE that domestic violence groups allow themselves to be used by frauds. As a “victim”, my accuser was given a place to live, food, clothing, and hugs. When it was eventually suggested to her that it was time for her to get on with her life, get a job, move, she’d claim that she saw me looking in her window, and the “care” would get extended. IN one instant, we were on opposite sides of the country. I don’t drive. I apparently called a cab, took a plane, called a cab, found out where her “safe space” was, and looked in the window. The dopes supporting her didn’t question, just accepted everything as fact.

    It’s INSANE that courts allow R.O.’s to be obtained by the same person using different names, so that it looks like multiple people have accused someone. It’s INSANE that the accused is virtually treated as being guilty, with him having to show innocence, and not the other way around.

    I have primary custody of my child. I live in Texas abd my ex is a soilder stationed in Oklahoma. I allowed my daughter to spend one month this summer with her father. During the kast few days of her visut when I called my ex had an excuse why I could not speak with her. Then he stopped taking my calls all together. A day later CPS knocked on my door to do an interview and I found out my ex had filed for a Protective Order. After a week and a half I was still not served so I went to the constable’s office and waited whike he called Oklahoma and requested rhey fax the order to him so he could serve me while I waited in his office. The judge set the hearing for 2 months out. CPS has closed their case as there was nothing to of substance to support the allegations. My daughter starts school 3 weeks before the hearing. What do I do now?Please.

    Misuse of restraining orders can even occur outside the context of divorce.

    In my case, my former priest, Bob Malm of Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria VA, obtained a restraining order against me after falsely accusing me of threatening him. Specifically, he took various words and phrases out of context from a blog written by my mom, and babbled on about various irrelevant nonsense, including having criticized him online. His real goal, as evinced by an offer he made to settle, etc., is to shut down online criticism of him.

    I encourage the public and journalists to visit Alexandria VA circuit court to hear the appeal. Should be an interesting example of misuse of a protective order, as well as bad conduct by clergy.

    Hello from Canada. Not sure if this will help anyone in the USA but it might. In Canada we have a part of our criminal code law called a private information / private prosecution. Essentially what this is is a court application direct to a judge for a criminal charge or charges to be laid against an accused person. The really good thing about this option is you can subpoena anyone or anything you want to the court to persuade the judge a criminal act has occurred.

    Works on everyone! Crazy mom’s, crazy dad’s, bad police, anyone! The true equalizer to ex parte protection orders is a private prosecution application for perjury. And, if you are feeling nice, you can subpoena mom or dad or the person playing games direct to a judge in under 30 days and compell them to provide incriminating evidence to the court to have them charged, and is completely open for rereview at the criminal trial or emergency order review.

    After all the smoke clears, and they have tried to re lie their way out of it again, head on back down to the court house again and refile for another private prosecution and bring in new charges. It’s as simple as that. Forget waiting for trial, forget waiting for family law, just put him or her in jail while your waiting for your day in court.

    Mom thinks she can lie and get a false protection order and advance on child custody and divorce? Can’t do that when your in jail. Tried tested and true! Call any lawyer you can a d get advice on private information / private prosecution at your local court house.

    My father has gone through similar things. He and his ex-girlfriend had 3 kids together. About 5 years ago she was cheating on him and then they broke up, and when she made her new relationship public, she started falsely accusing the father of sexual abuse against the children. She has made 7 false allegations and even filed a protection order against him, claiming he threatened to kill her, which is false. Social services kept pushing the kids to try and lie so they could get him arrested. The mother had coached the kids to lie, and even though they found the mother to be lying and coaching the kids to lie, the judges and social services still sided with the mother and were against the father. She tends to not meet her end of the deal when it comes to visitation. She blocked me and anyone who she felt would ruin her false claims and literally cut me off. She even had her sister block me off social media. Their son, my only brother just turned 10 yesterday and she wouldn’t even let the father say happy birthday to him. Every time she gets a new boyfriend, she tries to push the father out and more trouble continues to arise. I am tired of knowing she is getting away with all of that and messing the kids up mentally and possibly physically. I live one state over, I really wish there was something I can do so she can’t do this crap anymore.. oh and to mention once she told me over the phone about the father threatening her, and she tried to make it sound believable by putting on an obvious fake sad thing with her voice to make herself look/sound innocent. If I am correct, with the number of false allegations she’s made over the last 5 years, I believe is now considered a felony. I’m not that knowledgeable on the law since it varies from state to state.

    my son is being targeted for this lethal divorce tactic, its the same ol, same ol story I keep reading about above, can someone please advise as my grandson was taken away due to a “bad faith fraudulent” protection order, his, “hopefully soon to be x-wife” is a drug addict and only wants my grandson for the tax season of “the unearned income tax credit” for children, my grandson wants little to do with her, and ironically, she is the one who abuses my grandson in every form including child trafficking, please help?

    Hello, I have a strained relationship with my family and moved to another town two months ago. I was going to file for a transfer with my job, but then decided I didn’t need to once getting settled, since my husband makes good money. Then this week my cousin contacts me to tell me my old job is making false alligations of domestic abuse, telling my family what they think and getting them worked up over something that’s never been a problem. What can I do to squash these accusations without it escalating to where they feel the need to call authorities? We have a peaceful relationship, I don’t know where their getting these claims

    I married my husband this month, and he is wonderful! Before starting dating me, he was going through a hard divorce. Luckily, I had known him for years and new his true character. He has been having a hard time because he has been wanting to see his child that he and his ex had together, but has found it legally hard to do so. Just like it states in this article, it really does take minimal evidence to obtain a protection order. I appreciate this article because it states to act quickly and decisively. I think I will help my husband find his voice, and hire a lawyer who knows what she or he is doing! There is just so much work to be done.

    Need advice. After divorce trial, court granted me primarily custody. two weeks later my ex filed domestic violence saying I abuse our children. Been 10 days I haven’t seen my children I have a court in four days. He’s got his family false statements supporting his story. think the problem he’s going to have he said I abused children on Friday, he has a weekend with them, brings the children back to me on Monday and then file and then file protection order on Wednesday. would he have a problem in court explaining why he brought the children back to me if he thought I hurt them?

    This is a case of manipulation and you can easily fight this and win. If you want to get some help without a lawyer, contact info at myfamilyadvocate .com and we will be glad to show you how.

    Had a domestic case where the mother filed an emergency exparte making false claims of abuse, her attorney signed it and took it to the sheriffs dept. { passing it through as if a judge signed it} sheriffs dept removed the child from the fathers custody, the child was living with the father at the time, 4 days later a judge denied the mothers exparte order making it illegal to have removed the child from the fathers care. her attorney did not wait for a judges signature and presented his own as one instead. the child still has not been returned 3 years later. writing this so others can beware of such things going on. this was in summit county ohio.

    My name is Tialiaa edwards I need help trying to fight a false pfa that was put against me by my husband just to obtain custody of the 3 children we have together I haven’t seen my kids for 4 months since this order was granted their ages are 4,2,10mnths the commissioner granted him 2 years no contact or visitation with the kids which broken my heart being that they are so young I have stood by that I am innocent an have done nothing but left this man who becam a financial burden for me I been trying to fight this order since it was put in place oct.13.2017 but I keep getting the run around I need help or some advice an the next steps I can take in to showing that my husband is a liar

    I have had an OP in place for 6 weeks and my wife and I have never been physical and the only thing we had issues with was the loss of my oldest son. I was depressed. He died in jan2017 and I was stubborn and not picky and I wish I could go back with the knowledge of how to cope now. I haven’t seen our 2.5 year old son in 6 weeks and I’m devastated. I miss him so much. I love my wife and I just can’t see her doing this . If she truly wants a divorce I will have to accept it but keeping me away from our son hurts so much. I never could have imagined this happening since she knew how hard I had been having it since losing my oldest. I still pray for reconciliation but I don’t expect it. I do however pray I will be able to see our son soon. It’s so hard not hearing his laugh and seeing his smile. She didn’t even send me a photo of him on Easter. She knows these milestones are important to both of us. If reversed I would have never kept him away from her. I pray you get to see you children soon. Like you, all of the allegations against me were false. I’m actually stunned people can do this to innocent people. These are meant to help people not be used as a tool to distroy a relationship with their children.

    Its just not put on men.. my husband of 26 years put one on me to force to me into a collaborative divorce. His doing so prevented me for being present at the birth of my grandson..gave him licsene to have me arrested after our son commited suicide Im so broken because of this i feel like giving up.

    Every state province and country has private prosecution/information laws. Don’t be afriad to find them and use them – it’s a free service. You make your complaint direct to a judge…no police, no district prosecuting attorney…just you her and the judge.

    If you’ve been charged and accused of domestic violence and you really didn’t do it and you know she’s lying and you can prove it…..let her do it…

    Gather your evidence, go to trial, and while she is under oath get her to commit to everything under oath. Think of it like every lie she commits to is 30 days in jail for her…

    Let her lie, let her lie, let her lie……just remember the judge is not a prosector..

    After your trial and after being cleared now it’s retribution time.

    Head to your local court house and file an application for private prosecution/private information. It might have a different name but it’s a criminal complaint direct to a judge.

    Of course you absolutely have the right to call her as a witness to her own prosecution hearing ….that’s the law….so do it!

    Bring her, the transcripts, and a lawyer, and take a shot at her for every single lie she told under oath. She will be there the entire time…of you convince the judge she broke the law say perjury the judge will issue a warrant for her arrest.

    Perjury is a serious offence. Most courts and police have what is called a reverse onus…perjury is one of them that is reverse onus. Instead of there being a presumption of bail/release the police and the district prosecuting attorney will be apposed to her release.

    Now that she’s in jail it’s time to act! Get the kids, get the assets including all of hers that she gave you, and run for the hills. She won’t be contacting you for about a year at least…

    Every couple of weeks go back down to the court house with another perjury complaint and do it again. She will get arrested again, and if you and her are lucky the judge might share a few words then and there on how long she’s going to prison for.

    You fight fire with a bigger fire. Works on any lady’s up to no good no matter how big and expensive her lawyer might be and how far along into your current proceedings you might be. Want the kids? No problem. The house? It’s yours. Wanna make her pay and pay and pay and get the last laugh and win it all? This is how you do it.

    While I applaud the use of the legal system, my experience with an invalid PO leaves me with little faith. Getting a representative of the court to prosecute charges of perjury is nearly impossible for anyone but high profile, news making cases (I’ve tried). What we expect from judges regarding morality, ethical conduct, objectivity, and adhering to court policies and civil rights is, sometimes, a far cry from reality … judges have so much discretion in how they treat a PO claim and those who are falsely blamed have very little-to-no recourse, even when they have evidence (judges can choose to ignore or disallow any evidence that is presented). Finally, it is misguided to think that judges who act poorly don’t have influence (friends in the system) if one files appeals. In my case attorneys even said that they had never seen such abuse of the system and that there was nothing I could do short of filing a federal civil rights claim (with a cost of several hundred thousands of dollars cost). I found the entire process of legally addressing the invalid PO discouraging, cost me thousands of dollars, with no change in the outcome.

    Blessing to the above respondents.

    Sorry that we have to go though such. After wining Joint Custody of my daughter. To obtain it back the ….(“devils daughter”) ….went of a rampage. Using CPS and district court with the claim that i stated. That i was going to kill her. All charges were dismissed. Thereafter, when went to family court and then used my daughter as level with false claims that i said. i was going to kill our daughter….( ” Never Dream of or Said”)…. mind you with no evidence to her claim upon me asking for such doing cross.

    Just so happen the judge in which we seen do to her failure to given our daughter directly after my wining joint. And me tell him my rights and law. Issuing a final protective order out of retaliation. For i allow her to further make abuse or sexual assault claim. i will appeal and stay away..

    Everything you narrated in this article is exactly true. I went through terrifying false allegations of domestic violence and child abuse accusations with a temporary restraining order against me and I didn’t get to see or visit with my then 7 months old daughter for over 6 months before finally appeared in court and my lawyer and I presented our defense. I was found not guilty of any kind of domestic violence against my ex, and found me not guilty of child abuse for inappropriate touching of her 17 years old daughter as the mother coached her daughter both accused of inappropriately touched her 17 years old daughter that was my step daughter. All charges against me for domestic violence against her, and charges against me for child abuse accusations of me inappropriately touching her daughter was dismissed. She asked for permanent restraining order against me was denied, and a physical and legal joint custody was granted. Now, we have 50% joint custody our beautiful 19 months old daughter. Without an experience criminal defense attorney and a family lawyer, my freedom would have been taken away, losing my three children from my previous relationship that I raised as a single father for the past 11 years before this monster woman and her teenage daughter entered into my life trying to missed up my life and my children. Thanks to my experienced lawyers for saving my freedom and my children’s future.

    I found the foregoing to be so accurate. 2010 out of the blue I was accused of domestic violence. The woman violent & was caught cheating, And she was a good actor in court too. She even ask @ a hearing for a 5 year order of protection. That commissioner ended it saying there was no evidence of domestic violence. Took me a few years to figure out that she promised some one they could adopt our baby & I said no way. So that woman helped her setting me up. My baby is 6 years now I have her each wk end without any court.

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