False Allegations Solicitors – Family Law Assistance


  1. Introduction
  2. How false allegations are made
  3. Reasons to use a solicitor when you’re facing false allegations
  4. How are false allegations dealt with in court?
  5. What can the court do with allegations?
  6. So do I need a solicitor?

Introduction

It hurts to be accused of things you know didn’t happen – particularly if it’s something nasty like mistreating a child or a partner.

Not only that, it can damage your relationships, your career and a case in the family court for your children and finances. You may end up a victim of a social media campaign, lose your job and find family members and loved ones turning against you while they repeat the tired old mantra of `there’s no smoke without fire’. Your accuser may be supported by an organisation that provides them with support, funding and legal assistance while you are prevented from asking them directly in court about their story, banned from contacting them and barred from returning to your home.

You’ll probably feel that you’re guilty until proven innocent.

You almost certainly want to redress this injustice – to get on record what really happened and for your accuser to face the consequences of their choices. And while you’re reeling from it all…your accuser is making the case that what they want is fair and reasonable.

In light of this – it’s no wonder you want a solicitor to sort it all out. To clear your name, defend your best interests and to ensure your accuser’s lies are exposed to the light.

But…do you need one to help you deal with – or can you do it yourself?

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How false allegations are made

It’s important to say that how false allegations are made can vary massively. They can include:

  1. Accusations made directly to you by your accuser face to face, emails, texts, WhatsApp, telephone conversations, etc.
  2. Talking about it to other people and they get back to you.
  3. Social media posts.
  4. Reports to the police, social services or other agencies.
  5. Letters/emails from you ex’s solicitor outlining false allegations.
  6. False allegations made in legal paperwork such as application forms, statements, etc.

If you’ve had false allegations made against you, you’ve probably seen a combination of the above (and ones I’ve not listed above). A blizzard of these can leave you feeling buried by it all and dealing with like trying to punch smoke.

A drip, drip, drip effect can leave you feeling that the best option is to walk away, faced with a mountain of allegations that you are never going to be able to address – because someone who makes false allegations is always going to make more ones, no matter what.

In light of this…using a solicitor may be the best option if you feel utterly overwhelmed by it all….

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Reasons to use a solicitor when you’re facing false allegations

There are some excellent reasons to use a solicitor. They include:

  1. Being unfazed by false allegations they’ve seen countless times.
  2. A neutral perspective on something that is very emotive for you.
  3. Knowing what the court is liable to be interests and what isn’t.
  4. Acting as your representative so that (at least some of) the allegations are relayed to them and not you.

A good solicitor can help you deal with the overwhelm, taking the load off your shoulders, giving you perspective and dealing with the legal mechanics of it all.

It can all be very reassuring.

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How are false allegations dealt with in court?

A better question here is `How are allegations deal with in court?’ Because not all allegations are false. Some are true.

If an allegation has been made it’s important to be honest about them. To demonstrate you have the insight to see that you could have acted in a more positive way and even better…you are taking steps to address it without a court ordering you do so. Admitting you need help isn’t an admission of failure; it’s a sign of responsibility and being an adult. Doing so may affect the outcome of your case for your children or your finances, but it’s probably going to be less so than refusing to admit any responsibility for your own actions – with the court deciding that not only did you do something you shouldn’t do, but you also refused to admit to it.

But we’re going to assume those allegations are false.

Firstly – if those allegations are made outside of court (they’re not mentioned in paperwork the court sees) it’s worth considering if you need to address them at all. Court hearings are short. You’re in court to address the best interests of your children or a fair and equitable division of assets. Not to discuss your ex partner accusing you of something horrible in a telephone call. The onus is on your ex partner to raise any issues they feel is appropriate with the court. If they don’t do so…you may not need to at all.

It’s one less thing to worry about in court.

If they ARE presented to the court however (in the form of statements, applications, forms, `evidence’) your response is different. If something didn’t happen…say so. And leave it at that. You are not obliged to prove you didn’t do something (proving a negative is a little hard, after all!) and your accuser will need to present evidence that it did. Furthermore, you do not need to elaborate on your rebuttal. Should your ex present a 50-point statement listing false allegations and they didn’t happen say `This did not happen’ and move on.

That’s it.

It’s tempting to want to prove your ex partner is lying. Don’t get me wrong – it is something you may wish to address later down the line: An ex partner who keeps making unfounded allegations of abuse to the court isn’t being reasonable and it can damage their credibility in the long term.

It’s important to say here that you aren’t accountable to your ex’s solicitor either; it’s far from unknown for someone who has been accused of something to receive a letter or email demanding a response or explanation. Other than saying `It didn’t happen’, there is nothing more to say. Doing so could be aiding a `fishing expedition’ on their part and what you say may end up being discussed in court to your disadvantage.

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What can the court do with allegations?

The court has various ways it can respond with allegations.

If you’re faced with allegations you will probably want them dealt with as soon as possible so you can get on with what you’re really in court for. This is why saying something didn’t happen and moving on is just about the best strategy you can adopt whenever possible.

But that isn’t always possible.

The court, faced with allegations can deal with things in different ways. These include:

  1. Ignoring them. Allegations are very common and the court knows litigants aren’t completely honest at all times. Or it could be that the allegations aren’t seen as relevant to the matter in hand.
  2. Asking you about them in a hearing. A judge may listen to your accuser and ask your side of the story. They may then leave it at that, ask your accuser for what evidence they have to back up their story and decide to do nothing more or take the next step which is…
  3. A Fact Finding hearing. This type of hearing is a trial. It’s an opportunity for the allegations to be examined in court. Your accuser will typically be asked to present a list of allegations (a set number on a `Scott Schedule’) which the court may narrow down. You’ll have an opportunity to respond to them. There will then be trial where evidence in a bundle is used by a court, along with cross examination of witnesses and statements to decide if it is more likely than not (or vice versa) that the allegation happened or didn’t happen.

False allegations solicitors - what are your options?It’s important to know that a fact finding hearing holds a case up. Discussion on contact, etc. will be put on hold for the time being when one is scheduled – the court will work out what do to in a subsequent hearing after the fact finding hearing. It could be something like attendance at anger management classes, psychological reports, DV perpetrator courses, etc.

Of course, admitting to things that did happen means there is less to discuss, will be appreciated by the court and allow appropriate action to take place without being forced.

It’s also possible that someone who makes false allegations will continue to make them despite it being made clear by the Court that it doesn’t consider them relevant to the case in hand, or else raise fresh allegations. If this happens, it is sometimes worth asking the Court to order a Fact Finding to allow your accuser to present the evidence they have and draw a line under them; doing this can be a good way of discouraging constant spurious allegations that seem to be made to seek advantage. And if the Court decides that one is needed, it is something you will be able to highlight going forward.

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So do I need a solicitor?

About 90% of people don’t need a solicitor in this situation. You’d be surprised how many people (yourself included most likely) are more than capable of dealing with most situations, particularly with help of a competent McKenzie Friend.

Dealing with this situation can be incredibly empowering, a good learning experience and you will be able to use your extensive knowledge of your case and determination to maximise your chance of a good result.

It’s important to realise that even a Fact Finding hearing going badly need not be a bar in the long run. As I’ve said above, it is certainly a delay. But insight rocks! Admitting to things you did – even if they weren’t your finest hour – and resolving to be better can make a huge difference.

In our experience though? You can do a great job yourself!

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