False accusations of paedophilia damage fathers involved in custody battles

Investigations can cost dads over a year away from their children

July 23rd, 2014 11:31 am| by admin

When a mother accuses her child’s father of being a paedophile during custody battles following divorce proceedings, the father immediately loses his visitation and custody rights. It can be virtually impossible for the father to then regain the right to see his children, even if the accusations are later found to be completely unfounded.

Bente Koudal Sørensen from Statsforvaltningen, the government administrative office whose duties include handling divorce and custody cases, said that although there are no official numbers, she estimated that accusations of paedophilia are levelled at fathers at least once a month, according to Kristeligt Dagblad.

Jesper Lohse, the head of Foreningen Fars, a father’s association, said that number is closer to 100 every year, and that most of the accusations are without merit.

Statsforvaltningen is required to respond if a parent accuses their partner of abuse. Accused parents almost always lose contact with their children right away. Sørensen acknowledged that it is hard on both the fathers and the children.

"We are aware of the dilemma,” she said. “We cannot tell right away who is telling the truth, so we have to investigate any allegations. We know that some of the cases are without cause, but we cannot take any chances.”

No consequences for false charges
Although visitation rights are typically suspended for three months while a case is being investigated, Lohse said that processing and administrative red tape can often cause fathers and their children to be separated for over a year.

READ MORE: Joint custody children fare better than other children of divorce

There are no immediate consequences for a mother for filing a baseless accusation against a father. In fact, the time the father is forced to be away can help the mother strengthen her relationship with the child, which in turn strengthens her position in any custody cases.

“Courts often decide custody based on which parent has a stronger relationship with the child,” said Sørensen.

Lohse said that a specific court needs to be established to handle charges of paedophilia in custody cases that responds immediately to any accusations.

Can Tom Courtenay get an Oscar nom 48 years after his first one?
At Cinemas: Pensioners and Panned
Mad Max: Fury Road and (please god) the forthcoming Star Wars 7 aside, 2015...
Who said the holiday in the skunk lab wouldn't come in handy one day?
Film Review: The Martian
Mercifully, The Martian wastes little time on exposition, instead literally...
If the nursing staff knows the seniors' toilet habits they can save money and time (photo: iStock)
Hjørring Municipality wants to monitor how the elderly use adult nappies
Hjørring Municipality in northern Jutland has proposed using chips to moni...
Arla expecting sales boost from exposure (photo: Arla)
Upcoming Hollywood film ‘Burnt’ will feature Arla product placement
The Danish dairy giant Arla has confirmed its Castello line of cheeses will...
SAS is 'shipping up to Boston' come March (photo: iStock)
SAS taxis out four new routes from Copenhagen
Scandinavian airline SAS has announced that it intends to launch new routes...
The defence minister, Peter Christensen, was practically jumping into the cockpit to welcome home the pilots (photo: Defence Ministry)
Defence Minister welcomes home F-16 squadron
The new defence minister, Peter Christensen, was at hand at Skrydstrup Air ...