Unfortunately, this is a vicious and common phenomenon. What should you do and what can you expect??
At the outset I want to emphasize, domestic violence is evil. Damage to the weaker partner and utilizing physical and/or emotional weaknesses are most despicable.
This article is addressed to those men who are falsely accused by complaints to the police, both serious and trivial. Many men have fallen victim to this ploy of using false accusations to get them out of their homes through the utilization of law enforcement agencies.
These tips are not at all relevant to men who actually behave violently toward their partners, men who are violent or abusive, whether physically and/or verbally. These men are beyond the pale – their behavior is unforgivable.
All systems should do everything in their power to eradicate domestic violence.
However, there is no doubt that one of the phenomena of an ugly divorce process is that of false complaints to the police. It’s no secret that some women are recommended to try this as a sure way of keeping their home.
Usually this is the sort of thing that happens:
Harsh words are exchanged, things get very heated and for no reason your partner calls the police and really blackens your character and accuses you of terrible things – you threatened to kill her, you hit her and so forth.
In accordance with the regulations, the police are obliged to separate the couple.
Therefore, the police often act without checking the veracity of the claims and will immediately impose an exclusion order of up to seven days. Towards the end of the day the complaining partner (in most cases) ends up in the family court seeking an order to remove the man from the house and requesting an application called “Protection order”.
In her application the spouse describes what occurred plus adding the document of her complaint to the police and she is brought promptly before a judge on call. Usually the court grants the request on an ex parte basis i.e., without the presence of the man and the order can be extended for up to seven days.
The court must determine a date for a hearing with both partners present which must take place within seven days. However the immediate result is instantaneous; the man is degraded and removed from his home and family for no reason.
The woman is left alone at home with the children and is in a much better bargaining position than at the time of separation, as now she is negotiating with a partner who has been moved out of their house. This in itself causes emotional harm, humiliation, and a sense of missed opportunity and pain well described by his Honor Jacob Cohen (Family Application 13353/04)
“A man’s expulsion from his residential apartment while forcing him to cut off contact with his children is a fatal blow to human rights and the most basic civil liberties. The pain and anguish he will feel at being removed from the bosom of his family is so terrible as to be unimaginable.”
(The undersigned represented the spouse in this case.)
Realizing how their spouses may react, men need to be well prepared for this phenomenon and a proper understanding of how to deal with it is critical. If handled properly, it is possible to leverage the false complaint in the interests of the victim, showing that they are actually false complaints.
I advise a number of important rules relating to the conduct for false complaint:
- If your partner calls the police, wait at the entrance when the officer arrives.
- Wait for the police, keep your distance and do not try and interrupt what your spouse is saying. It is essential that you wait at the entrance and in no way to stay away from home.
- Once the police arrive, co-operate with them fully and accompany them to the police station. Once there you will be passed to the duty officer for investigation.
- Very important: for the initial police questioning your attorney cannot be present, but after the officer reads you a note of the complaint and what is attributed to you, you may consult with a lawyer before responding.
- At this stage, it is absolutely vital and critical to immediately call a lawyer to tell him what you suspected and ask him for guidance on how to answer the charges you are facing. If the attorney can get to the station, all the better, if not tell him all the information you know and explain over the phone.
- Too often police will recommend indictment and parallel civil proceedings are also conducted. Criminal proceedings will be taken against the person in respect of the offense of assault or threats.
These are some of the important rules of conduct for the hearing:
- Where there is a debate in the presence of both parties regarding the protection order there is a major opportunity to refute the false complaint straight away; hence, the importance of a decisive lawyer!
- Often after a successful cross-examination by the lawyer and a refutation of the woman’s story, the man will be left with the upper hand. In such situations, the court makes an effort to end the case at that stage.
If the allegations are found to be false, this will remove all the credibility of the woman and will strongly affect the court’s judgment on issues such as alimony and child care.
I personally think that one of the most important roles of the lawyer in the family is a sensible discussion with both parties present at this preliminary stage of the protection order.
This procedure is one of the most important moments in a divorce case. I believe that a strong push by the lawyer at this stage is absolutely crucial and may decide the whole future of the entire divorce case, for better or for worse.
- If the attorney is wise enough to prove that this is a false complaint, this will also affect the criminal proceedings if an indictment is served. If the allegations that led to the indictment can be shown to be false, the criminal charges can be laid aside. On the other hand, the woman will be liable for tort libel.
Finally, an important recommendation: it is important to be smart and not just right … and do everything to prevent the continued friction.