In family law disputes, particularly during contentious divorces or custody battles, it’s not uncommon for individuals to resort to various tactics in order to gain the upper hand. One of the most troubling and potentially damaging tactics is the weaponization of domestic violence allegations. If a court finds that a party maliciously alleged that their former spouse engaged in acts of domestic violence, it may impose punitive damages on the party, as discussed in a recent Florida ruling issued in a divorce case. If you need assistance with a domestic violence issue, it is in your best interest to meet with a Miami domestic violence lawyer to determine your rights.
It is alleged that the wife initiated an interlocutory appeal in response to a court order that allowed her husband to assert a punitive damages claim against her. This claim arose from the wife’s alleged malicious prosecution of a domestic violence complaint against her husband. Notably, the wife had submitted the domestic violence petition just a month after filing her petition for the dissolution of their marriage, and both cases were consolidated under the jurisdiction of the family court. Subsequently, the wife withdrew her domestic violence petition after the parties agreed to a no-contact order.
Reportedly, however, two years later, the husband took legal action by filing a complaint for malicious prosecution. In this complaint, he asserted that there existed a complete and utter lack of probable cause for the domestic violence injunction petition and contended that the sole purpose of the petition was to gain an advantage in their divorce proceedings. To substantiate his claims, the husband presented evidence, including testimony from a family friend who recalled the wife boasting about filing the petition. Additionally, he pointed out inconsistencies in her accounts of the alleged domestic violence and cited testimonies from police officers who had not observed any physical injuries on the wife. Continue reading ›