What Can Be Done About All the Lies Told in Family Court?

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“What reforms are currently under consideration for legislation for custody issues? In particular, do you know of any for Hawaii? My heart is breaking for children and parents alike who are being kept from each other in the aftermath of a messy divorce and custody battles. I have a dear friend, whose original divorce degree was for joint custody who recently had a temporary restraining order filed on him prohibiting him any contact with his kids … (the affidavit supporting it was very dishonest). I have a brother whose ex-wife successfully filed kidnapping charges on him when he had his kids, it was his time to have his kids, they were picked up by police in their permanent home (again, false affidavit). It blows my mind that such false affidavits can be filed without real evidence and court decisions made based on such falsities. It appears in family court, one may be found totally guilty and must prove innocence and even still can not correct the court actions done on such false accusations. I myself am a divorced single mother but I recognize it took two of us to create the children and they have two parents who both love them and it breaks my heart to see time and time again in divorce cases one parent working to keep the other parent from having a nurturing loving relationship with a child who needs them. It enrages me the games I see being played out in the family court system. I feel the hurt of the children and others deeply and would like to get involved with legitimate organizations promoting family law reforms and for healthy parenting for divorcees.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

What you say is absolutely true. Nowhere in law but in family law is there such a blatant disregard for the premise “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” In large part, this is because what is “true” is so very subjective when you talk about issues regarding the family system, but there are certain things which clearly are true or not, and in all my years of practice as a family law attorney I have only once seen someone’s formalized lies lead to Court-imposed sanctions. This is one of the reasons that false allegations of abuse have been such a problem in our family law system.

That said, a parent who has had lies used against them in court can often turn the tide if they can prove, objectively, that statements made in court, or otherwise under oath, are lies. In fact, I have seen an entire custody case crumble, and custody revert to the father, based on the disproving of lies made by the mother. But it takes time, and diligence.

There are several places where someone can get involved. The Children’s Rights Council at http://www.gocrc.com is one such group, and they have a chapter in Hawaii.



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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"

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