Its sad that we have to say it but, yes, false allegations occur a lot in family separation. In every high conflict family situation, legal or otherwise, there are three sides to each story – yours, theirs and the truth. Point being, if everyone always told the truth, there would be no disagreement over the facts and therefore, no conflict. Add into that equation an adversarial (evidence testing) family law system and you see how things that are not true can get throw into the equation in an effort to gain advantage. It’s not how it should be but it happens.

If you are being falsely accused, know that you are not alone.
  • In our experience, both mums and dads can and do make false allegations in equal measure in order to gain the upper hand. You can read one retiring family court judges views on the matter here. We also reference some of the official research in policy section 5 (page 7) of our position document here. What you will find there is that 74% of QLD magistrates have said they’ve witnessed vexatious (false) AVO’s and that in NSW, the numbers were over 90% having witnessed them, nearly 60% seeing them occasionally and 10% of magistrates saying that over half of all AVO’s were vexatious (false). Bottom line, we do not know the exact numbers but we can see from this that the issue is very real and that it happens quite a bit.

  • If you’re on the receiving end of false allegations, particularly extreme ones, it’s hard to understand how that is allowed to occur and to worry about the shame of them being shared with others. This is normal but you can’t let it stop you from doing what is right for yourself and for your children.

  • Know such allegations for what they are, strategic maneuvering to gain legal advantage and little more. They are an attempt to derail the trajectory of and to delay the legal case and to attempt short term legal dominance.

The good news is that in the long term, false allegations usually do not work.
  •  The family court outcomes suggest that most such allegations are eventually overturned. Hard to see at the beginning but that is why speaking with those that have done this in the past really can help out it all into perspective.

  • The secret is not to make it worse in the meantime by overreacting; that means lashing out against yourself or the other party and it also means not walking away.

  • Dealing with false allegations can be a little like sinking in quicksand; the more you struggle, the worse it can get. Stay calm, reach out to us and we’ll help you work you way through the challenge one step at a time. Take it slow and in stages. Do not expect it will all be overturned at the first opportunity; sometimes judges want to see how this unfolds over a longer period to assess patterns of behaviour. Understand this because if you push too hard, you may find it suggests that there is something here to hide.

  • If you’re worried what others might think, send them over to here to read these notes so that they can be better informed. It’s really quite a common phenomena in family law cases these days, so you’re far from alone.

Legal Aid
  • If you have questions the Legal Aid websites in each state and territory are linked here:
  • NSW
  • VIC
  • QLD
  • ACT
  • SA
  • NT
  • TAS
  • WA
Helpline - 1300 853 437