The Family Court has always been a place where high emotion can take the place of rational thought.  More to the point, when custody and visitation of children are at stake, the obligation to tell the truth and nothing but the truth takes a back seat to winning at any cost.  For those lawyers who practice in Family Court, “the greater weight of the perjury” has always been the subject of cocktail party conversations.

While a certain amount of self-serving testimony is expected, false allegations of criminal conduct cross the line.  Strategic gain, the humiliation inflicted, and the opportunity to cut off an ex-spouse from the children are just too tempting.  False criminal allegations are on the rise in Family Court.

False criminal allegations typically fall into two categories: (1) criminal domestic violence and (2) child sexual abuse.  Both charges ruin not only the accused, but also the children caught in the middle.  Knowing that a belligerent ex is going to try this maneuver, video and audio documentation are good tools to defeat the allegations from the outset.  If the allegations are made, then swift, aggressive, and creative defense strategies are the only safe haven.  Family Court procedure and discovery offer options that most criminal defendants never get a chance to use.  With depositions, subpoena power, and the use of polygraph evidence, the Family Court can become the last best hope.  If you find yourself in this situation, understand that the criminal defense lawyer needs to be calling the shots until the criminal threat is over.

By: James Bannister

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