false accusations Archives - Cordell & Cordell

Scott Trout Discusses False Accusations on WLW Radio

700-WLWWhy does the guy always have to move out during a divorce? How should a man handle false accusations of abuse?

Cordell & Cordell Managing Partner Scott C. Trout answered these common family law questions and more on the “Eddie & Tracy Show” on 700 WLW radio in Cincinnati.

Click the audio player below to listen to the full interview.

Lies can persist during trials hurt men in child custody disputes

Although it is the job of the courts to determine the best possible situation for children in deciding which parents should retain custody, lies against the character of the father can often prevent these individuals from being able to see their kids.

David T. Pisarra, writing for the Huffington Post, noted that the area of domestic violence within legal battles for children began to take center stage in the 1990s.

Though the legislation was passed with the best intentions – protecting spouses from physical abuse – the contention in divorce courts can sometimes carry too much weight.

According to the Post, the legislation that exists in 32 states notes that the spouse only needs to claim that they were “afraid” of potential abuse in order for it to exist in the eyes of the law.

The utterance of this can lead to a father being denied custody rights and potentially can bar them from ever seeing their child alone again.

The news source reported that in the court’s rush to avoid tragedies through a “zero tolerance policy” claims of domestic violence have become a way for mothers to gain sole custody, regardless of whether it is true or not.

Woman sues after losing custody of newborn

A Pennsylvania woman is suing the Lawrence County Department of Children and Youth Services for removing her newborn son from her custody after she tested positive for opiates that she alleged was the result of poppy seed consumption, according to multiple reports.

The woman, Eileen Bower, claims officials took custody of her son directly after his birth. A routine blood test performed at Jameson Hospital detected opiates in her system, leading workers to contact state authorities. However, Bower’s lawyer said his client had eaten a salad with a dressing containing poppy seeds before giving birth in July 2009, which he said likely led to the positive test result.

“There were only trace amounts of opiates – they couldn’t even put a range on the amount,” Bower’s lawyer explained.

Bower retained custody of her son, now two years old, 75 days after the incident.

Another woman who gave birth at Jameson Hospital is involved in a similar lawsuit. Elizabeth Mort, who filed a lawsuit against the hospital and state child protection services last October, claims her newborn daughter was removed from her custody after she tested positive for opiates following the consumption of an everything bagel with poppy seeds.

The American Civil Liberties Union attorney told Change.org that Jameson Hospital has a written policy of submitting new mothers to urine drug tests and reporting them to the state if they test positive for illegal substances.

Woman arrested for framing ex for child custody

A Colorado woman will be sentenced next month for attempting to set up her ex-boyfriend to be arrested for violating a restraining order so she could would benefit in their ongoing child custody dispute, according to the Greeley Tribune.

Amanda Clinesmith, 21, pleaded guilty to attempting to influence a public official. Clinesmith reportedly called Greeley police late on the night of May 28 to complain that her former boyfriend, Travis Ehrlick, came to her house and threatened to shoot her. The newspaper said she told police he had come over at noon the day before to see their two children but she would not let him see his kids.

In addition, Clinesmith reportedly told police Ehrlick was drunk, had never tried to enter the house and simply left when their argument was over. Police reportedly questioned the validity of her story, and reached out to Ehrlick, who had actually been working until 2:10 a.m. on the day of the alleged altercation.

Authorities went to Clinesmith’s home on two occasions for a second interview but she did not answer the door, according to the source. She was arrested on June 2.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in spring 2008 an estimated 13.7 million parents had custody of about 21.8 million children under 21 years of age while the other parent lived somewhere else.

False Claims of Abuse in Custody Battles

Across the nation, some men believe they are being victimized by court systems that allow women to make unquestioned, false claims of abuse against their current or ex spouses. In response to these claims, fathers’ rights groups and law firms have begun to fight back.

One such law firm is the St. Louis-based firm Cordell & Cordell. Attorney Dorothy Ripka said there is “a stereotype of prejudice (against men), that has existed for a long, long time.  But stereotypes just aren’t appropriate in determining what’s in the best interest of the child.”

To gain the upper hand in divorce and custody battles, some women have begun to seek protective orders with false claims of abuse.

Ripka called protective orders “the most abused process in our court system. People use it to get a leg up in the court system all the time. It becomes a he said/she said. You have to prove something didn’t happen.”