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False allegations of domestic violence common in divorce cases

Are you a Fort Lauderdale man who is going through an ugly divorce? If so, beware that this civil procedure could spin off false accusations of domestic violence that threaten to land you in jail on spousal abuse charges.

Could you be victimized by false domestic violence allegations?

It is vital to not denigrate the true victims of domestic violence in the United States. But it's important to note that according to Stop Abusive and Violent Environments — a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating domestic violence and the false accusations of same — as many as 70 percent of the cases of disputed custody battles may revolve around false allegations of domestic violence.

That figure should be a wake-up call to end the complacency of many soon-to-be-divorced men, as they are nearly always the target of these spurious accusations.

The order of protection system is skewed to victims

Most men are astonished to learn that the only thing accusers have to do to take out protective orders against their spouses is tell a judge that they feel threatened by those spouses.

Let that sink in for a minute or two. They don't have to show that physical abuse occurred, and the alleged threatened abuse doesn't even have to be physical in nature. They can claim that they have been emotionally abused.

Maybe during an argument, a husband derided his wife for her efforts to do something, like failing to ace a key interview and land a plum job. Sure, it was unkind, but is that truly abusive? Some judges will agree that it is, especially when the tale is embellished to sound worse than it actually was.

Orders of protection are ex parte

Further thumbing the scales on the side of the accusers, judges typically grant emergency ex parte orders of protection against those accused of domestic abuse. That means that defendants have no chance to offer their side in court. Typically, the first notice that they have been accused of domestic violence comes when they are served with orders of protection.

Often, accusers ask that the orders be served on defendants at their place of business. This can jeopardize the defendants' jobs in worst-case scenarios, and, at minimum, cause them embarrassment and shame.

When a civil attorney is insufficient

If your name and reputation as a solid citizen has been sullied by unfounded accusations of domestic abuse, your family law attorney may not have the experience necessary to defend you on these charges. It's important to mount a stalwart defense immediately against spurious allegations of domestic violence.

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Certified | The Florida Bar | Criminal Trial Law

Andrew M. Coffey has been recognized as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer by the Florida Bar. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

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