If a guy’s wife files a harassment or domestic abuse restraining order during a divorce action, this is filed (at least in Wisconsin) as a civil matter separate from the divorce. Our office assists clients when this happens, and it is important to attend the hearing and fight against the restraining order being entered.
If it is entered, this can pose lots of problems when it comes to custody and placement. If there are pictures, text messages or witnesses who can provide testimony that counters what the wife alleges, that is the easiest way to defeat such an allegation, but often times the allegations stem from incidents where it was just the parties involved.
If that’s the case, then it’s the attorney’s job to make sure that our client’s testimony as to what occurred is more credible than the testimony of the spouse requesting the restraining order.
Often times these allegations can also be defeated simply through good lawyering. For example, I’ll run into situations where I have a client who has been taking care of the children for extended periods of time throughout the marriage while the other parent is working. Then, all of a sudden when the divorce is filed, the client’s wife is arguing for supervised placement because my client is abusive.
Well, if the wife was fine leaving the kids unsupervised with client for extended periods of time before the divorce was filed, why would that not be OK after the divorce is filed? Making arguments like this forces the opposing party to explain the logic and timing of their accusation.
I think it’s important for guys to realize that any accusation of abuse can be a serious problem to overcome when custody and placement are at issue in a divorce, so it’s important to get on top of the accusation as soon as it is made.
These days, swearing, yelling and derogatory comments can be viewed as abuse, so it’s important to be VERY careful, especially if you know you are headed for a divorce or a divorce has already been filed.
The most important thing you can do is find an attorney to help you combat the false allegations. Unfortunately, too many spouses see a protective order as a quick way to initiate divorce or separate, and they abuse the system to gain advantage.
If your spouse does that to you, an attorney will be able to explain what the burden of proof is and what evidence will be helpful to prove that your spouse’s allegations are false. If you do not fight against the false claims, a finding that abuse did occur can have a negative impact on the custody aspect of your divorce.
If you are accused of false allegations of abuse during a divorce, make sure you collect any and all information available to controvert the allegations. If the allegation is specific as to date and time, any information that can be produced that shows the abuse could not have occurred can be extremely important.
Such evidence might include receipts, time stamped emails, text messages or statements from other individuals to establish an “alibi.” If a temporary restraining order is issued against you, do not contact your wife or partner. If, however, that person contacts you, make sure you save that communication for your attorney and the court.
If your wife or partner has threatened to make false allegations against you in the past, provide that information to your lawyer. Finally, if allegations of domestic abuse are made against you, do not place yourself in a situation where you will be alone with your ex. Exchanges of children or property should be done in public or with a neutral third party present to prevent further false allegations of misconduct.
If your wife is filing false allegations in divorce proceedings or even filing false police reports, contact a family law attorney as soon as possible. It’s not uncommon for spouses to allege outrageous things to get a leg up in divorce proceedings.
For instance, an order of protection may be filed just before a divorce. It’s very possible a hearing will need to be held to clear you of these allegations, and you need an attorney that will thoroughly prepare you for that.
If a wife files false allegations of abuse during a divorce and those allegations lead to a domestic violence protective order, then the person on the receiving order has one best option: Follow the terms of the order.
Even though it seems unfair, unconscionable and unreasonable, you have to abide by what the judge has ordered you to do. This may mean that you are no longer allowed to go to the marital residence, pick your children up from school or other case-specific stipulations.
If you refuse to abide by the order, you will only hurt yourself and your case. It is, at the end of the day, not you who will decide whether the allegations are false, but the judge. And if you have strictly adhered to the order, you will have a much easier time not only pleading your case, but also discrediting your wife for filing the false allegations.