When criminal charges are used as a weapon in family court

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I’ve seen it too many times: Criminal charges being used by a spouse to gain leverage over his or her partner in family court. Unfortunately, this happens in far too many cases where the charges are simply false. The allegations are typically a claim of assault, sexual assault, or criminal harassment alleged to have been perpetrated against either the spouse making the allegation or against the children of the now disintegrating relationship.

For the unfortunate partner on the receiving end of these false allegations, he or she usually ends up fighting battles on several fronts: In criminal court, in family court, and with the Children’s Aid Society. For this person the road to justice can be long, painful, and expensive.

For spouses facing this situation, no two experiences are identical. However, they are often similar.

A client of mine found himself in a marriage where his wife was having an affair. He wanted to salvage the marriage but she wanted nothing to do with him and she eventually moved out.

After some time she realized she had made a mistake in leaving – not because she wanted her husband back but because she wanted the house. She asked her husband to leave the matrimonial home so she could move back in. He refused to leave and tried to convince her to return. A few weeks later she went to the police and claimed that her husband was harassing her.

My client was arrested and jailed right away. He was eventually released but had strict bail  conditions placed upon him, which included not being able to return to the matrimonial home. Upon his arrest, his wife moved back into the house. She then used the criminal charges in family court to keep him from seeing the children or going to the house.

Eventually, the criminal charges against my client were dismissed (Read the details of the case here). However, he still struggled in family court for some time before he could see his children. He went through many family lawyers in an attempt to find one who could deal with the complication of the criminal charge in his case. Eventually he found his way back to his children but it was a long and painful battle.

Unfortunately, these situations are becoming more common.

If you are involved in a family court case with criminal allegations you will be better served in family court by a lawyer who is also familiar with the criminal courts.  If this is your situation, I invite you to call me at 416 410 4838 to discuss your case.


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