False claims in divorce cases an abuse of court processes

False allegations often drag innocent children into the process and subject them to psychological trauma, such as being denied access to one parent.
False allegations often drag innocent children into the process and subject them to psychological trauma, such as being denied access to one parent.PHOTO: ST FILE

Mr John Timothy Driscoll's letter raises a very pertinent and critical issue in the ongoing discussion on issues related to family conflict and breakdown (Law shouldn't allow dads to lose rights to kids without hearings, March 20).

In cases of divorce and other family conflict, false and frivolous allegations are often lobbed around by divorcing spouses, under the advice of their lawyers, with little or no consequences.

Such actions and behaviour have led to rampant abuse and misuse of court processes as well as government-run protective services.

Besides being a strain on state resources and a drain on taxpayer dollars, these false allegations often drag innocent children into the process and subject them to psychological trauma, such as being denied access to one parent.

While the allegations may later be proven untrue, by that time (which could be months later), serious harm would already have been inflicted on the children and family. The accused would also have had to waste time and resources to defend himself or herself from the unfounded allegations.

There is currently no penalty against the individual who makes these allegations.

The insidious nature of false allegations not only makes victims of all parties involved, but, over time, also undermines public confidence in government administration and the judiciary. We must keep such false and frivolous accusations out of our legal system.

What measures are being taken by the Family Courts and government agencies such as the Ministry of Social and Family Development's protective services to deal with such false allegations?

Oh Ee Hoe

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2019, with the headline 'False claims in divorce cases an abuse of court processes'. Print Edition | Subscribe