The Growing Problem Of False Allegations Of Abuse
It is true that family court proceedings do uncover instances of systematic physical or sexual abuse against children, and for that, we can all be thankful.
However, studies also show that around 75% of abuse allegations made during high-conflict custody disputes turn out to be fabricated or unfounded. In fact false allegations of sexual abuse against children made in custody disputes have become such a problem that it has been given its own name: “Sexual Abuse In Divorce (SAID)”..
A common response to the presence of false allegations by folks at large is “No one would make something like that up and lie to a judge about it.” A common misconception for sure, but a misconception non the less, and one that is easily exploited by alienating parents for the purposes of nuclear warfare against the person they are targeting.
Here’s how it works:
First, and in the U.S. at least, the law provides a safe harbor for false accusers providing they make the allegations in the correct way. More specifically, no actual evidence of abuse is required, the accuser need only claim to have “fear” that the abuse has taken place or will take place in the future, and that is all that is required to trigger a response from the court.
Orders of restraint and supervised parenting will be immediately issued against the accused parent. The court will usually also order the appointment of an investigator (to be paid for by one or both parents), which in the best circumstances will be an experienced forensic psychologist, but that’s not required, and too often individuals not competent to be objective or qualified to root out the truth are appointed.
Also, don’t expect a quick resolution to the allegations. Nothing moves quickly in civil court, and under these circumstances, it is normal for the investigation alone to take close to a year or more, and even once that’s done, the alienator will be given the opportunity to hire a different expert to perform another investigation and rebut the findings of the first one.
If you’ve taken a moment to digest the experts testimony linked throughout this article, you will have developed the understanding that alienating parents are masters of manipulation, and the family court is perfect environment to exact a devastating, scorched earth revenge against a parent who triggers their narcissistic rage:
- Allegations Can Be Manufactured With No Evidence And Without Any Fear Of Repercussions: Law-makers and judges rightly want the legitimate victims of abuse to feel safe coming forward. Thus, if properly guided on the correct way to bring the allegations (hi, lawyers and social workers), laws intended to protect legitimate victims can be easily weaponized by false accusers to inflict holistic long-term damage on both the other parent and the relationship they have with their children.
- The Process Will Take Years To Resolve: Aside from the normal process of investigating the allegations, there are an infinite number of ways the accuser can sabotage and delay the process for years: motions are filed, allegations are made against supervised parenting personnel and therapists, attorneys either fire the accuser, or the accuser fires the attorney.
Beyond all that, and in the mean time, there are a limitless number of ways the accuser can sabotage and delay the process for years: motions are filed, allegations are made against supervised parenting personnel and therapists, attorneys either fire the accuser, or the accuser fires the attorney.
The list goes on, and all the while, the falsely accused must remain in supervised parenting which sends their children the implicit message that they are dangerous. Needless to say, the limited amount of time spent with the children along with the on-going representation of the accused parent as a threat plays right into the alieantor’s agenda; causing serious harm to both the accused parent, the involved children, and their relationship.
- The Process Is Incredibly Expensive: Investigator fees, supervised parenting fees, therapy fees, attorney’s fees, child support, alimony, and perhaps travel expenses.The costs are crushing, but don’t expect any of the agents participating in the process to be respectful of that. They’ve got you over a barrel and they know it. Challenge them on an invoice or the quality of their work and they’ll simply withdraw from the case, send you an invoice for remainders, and have the judge order a garnishment or lien on your assets if you refuse or are unable to pay.
Additionally, not paying child support or alimony is not an option for the accused. Don’t pay that stuff, and they may end up in jail for contempt of court. It seems that in the eyes of family court judges, child support and alimony trump the need and the ability of the accused to defend their innocence.
Thus, a common ploy of alienating parents is stimulate additional billable hours by drowning investigators and lawyers with additional baseless allegations, useless information, and more work; and all too often, practitioners are more than willing to comply with these fraudulent demands and bill their retainer accounts for the them.
- There Will Be No Finding of “Innocence” To The Allegations: In civil family court, failure to show the accused parent is guilty of the allegations will result in a judicial finding that the allegations are “unfounded”.
On occasion, a judge may say that they can’t or won’t rule out that the allegations were manufactured, but they are unlikely to assert with certainty that they were.
The only way a falsely accused parent can claim an innocence finding is if the matter becomes criminal and he or she is found innocent by a jury.
Of course, this works just fine for the false accuser as they’ll spend a lifetime misrepresenting the findings to their children and others with the purpose of obliterating the reputation of the falsely accused.
- The End Is Just The Beginning: One might expect that after years of investigation and litigation, and after a judicial finding that any allegations of abuse are unfounded or perhaps manufactured, that it would be the end of it. One might even expect that given such fraudulent, abusive, and alienating behavior, the judge would assign custody to the accused parent, right?
Nope – That rarely (if ever) happens.
Instead, family court judges are likely to adopt the family investigator’s recommendation of a “re-unification” process which involves a parenting coordinator, more therapy, no unsupervised custody, and more court hearings along the way.
Yes, you read that correctly. It is the alienated parent who has to jump through all the hoops. Permanent orders are not the end of the matter, they’re just the beginning and there will, without a single doubt, be more allegations down the road as the re-unification process comes to an end and the alienating parent is confronted with the reality that unsupervised custody is incoming.
The Generic Pattern Leading To False Allegations Of Abuse Against One Parent By The Other Parent (IPT Journal):
- Allegations of sexual abuse surface after the separation or divorce action is initiated.
- There is a history of family dysfunction and unresolved issues or conflict.
- The accuser displays tendencies of hysteria, borderline personality disorder, anger, defensiveness, hatred, or rationalizing.
- The accused is generally passive, nurturing, and lacks an assertive personality characteristic.
- The child is typically a female under the age of eight.
- The allegations are raised by the custodial parent.
- The accuser may shop for a therapist or social worker who will support the abuse allegation.
- The Court reacts by terminating or limiting visitation.
Consider The Tragic Story of John Mast:
After years of fighting parental alienation and fraudulent allegations of sexually abusing his children, John was finally awarded unsupervised custody.
This was the text he sent his PA counselor the very day his order was granted:
It’s not difficult to feel the joy this man was experiencing radiating off of this text. Even after he and his children had been put through so much and suffered they way they had, he just wanted to see his kids, he just wanted to hold them in his arms; he just wanted to be a Dad. At that moment, all the suffering was forgotten, he was finally free.
However, later that night when John showed up at the agreed public parking lot for the exchange, he was shot and murdered by his ex-father-in-law.
A good man’s life was taken right in front of his children, and all because of a selfish and viscous lie.
The story of John Mast is terrible and horrific, and it’s not unique.
Too many others have suffered a similar experience, and we’re not going to sugarcoat it: the fact is life becomes DANGEROUS for the targeted parent because of these kinds of allegations.
Folks that go through this garbage quickly learn that the family court is not a government institution that should be trusted. Ever.
They’re worried about the possibility of being criminally charged, perhaps even wrongfully convicted based on manufactured evidence and testimony. They’re stalked, they’re threatened, calls are made to employers, and friends and family are constantly harassed.
These fraudulent allegations produce a crushing amount of emotional, physical, and financial stress upon the targeted parent, and as previously noted, don’t require any actual evidence to provoke a response from the Court.
From the very moment they’re made, the targeted parent will be treated by the legal system as if they.re guilty of the alleged crimes, and from that point forward, he or she is immediately put on the defensive, changing the court battle from one of fighting to be in the lives of his or her children, to one of fighting for his or her very own life.
It’s a completely ruthless and wholly revolting tactic that has become a favorite weapon of alienating parents, because not only does it obliterate the targeted parent’s claims to custody, but it creates a permanent injury that the family court will refuse to remedy. The cloud of suspicion will follow the targeted parent for the rest of their despite the allegations being ruled unfounded.
Naturally, this environment of terror is exactly what the alienator wants, and since they know they won’t be punished, they have no problem repeatedly making these allegations despite the traumatizing effects the resulting invasive investigations impose on their own children.
Will family court judges eventually assert themselves, hold these false accusers accountable, and award the targeted parent custody? Eventually, yes, that is indeed likely.
However, we’re talking seven, ten, twelve years down the road as second, third, even fourth chances are given to the accuser. Legal fees can easily exceed well over one hundred thousand dollars over that period, and by the time the Court finally takes action, the damage done to the children and the targeted parent is beyond repair.
Sadly, many targeted parents can’t afford or stomach even a round two of these allegations, so they end up walking away; both to protect themselves and to protect their children from any more trauma.
And there is always a round two.
We don’t expect anyone who hasn’t been on the receiving end of these allegations to understand what they do to people, but we’re hopeful they’re now better informed what the problem is, why it exists, and how it might force a parent out of lives of their children.
Please give these folks a break, offer them your support, and above all, do not judge them for doing what they need to do to survive.
The Truth About Parental Alienation
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: What Is Parental Alienation?
Chapter Three: Degrees of Parental Alienation
Chapter Four: Parental Alienation Strategies
Chapter Six: The Effects of PA on the Targeted Parent
Chapter Eight: The Predatory Family Court Environment
Chapter Nine: The Lie
Chapter Ten: A Call for Hope and Healing