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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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Weaponizing Protective Orders During Divorces and Custody Disputes in Queens

Weaponizing Protective Orders During Divorces and Custody Disputes in Queens

Protective orders, also known as restraining orders, are meant to protect victims of domestic violence and abuse. However, they are sometimes misused during contentious divorces and custody battles to gain an upper hand. This unethical practice, known as “weaponizing protective orders,” often harms those it’s meant to protect – including children.

How Protective Orders Get Weaponized

There are a few common ways protective orders get misused during divorces and custody disputes (Solomos & Storms, 2023[1]):

  • One spouse falsely accuses the other of abuse or violence to obtain a protective order.
  • One parent wrongfully alleges the other parent abused or neglected their child.
  • A parent violates custody agreements, then files for a protective order with false claims when the other parent objects.

These types of frivolous protective order petitions overload the courts. They also needlessly traumatize families and damage relationships between parents and children (Solomos & Storms, 2023[1]).

Why Protective Orders Get Weaponized

There are a few reasons why protective orders sometimes get misused during custody disputes (FindLaw, 2023[2]):

  • To gain leverage – By obtaining a protective order, one parent can restrict the other parent’s custody rights and gain negotiating power.
  • As retaliation – A parent might falsely accuse the other of abuse as payback for a grievance.
  • For strategic advantage – Restricting one parent’s rights can benefit the accuser in custody hearings.
  • To alienate the child – One parent may try to damage the relationship between the child and other parent.

The Impact of Weaponized Protective Orders

When protective orders get misused as weapons during custody disputes, it almost always causes harm (Barry, 2023[3]):

  • The court system is burdened with frivolous petitions.
  • Family court resources get diverted away from real abuse victims.
  • Children suffer trauma when separated from a falsely accused parent.
  • Parent-child relationships get damaged, sometimes permanently.
  • The falsely accused parent’s reputation gets tarnished.
  • Legal fees spent defending against false allegations drain family finances.

In extreme cases, an innocent parent might get arrested or lose custody rights due to weaponized protective orders. And years of litigation can bankrupt families (Barry, 2023[3]).

How to Prevent Protective Order Abuse

There are a few things that can help prevent misuse of protective orders during custody disputes (Avvo, 2023[4]):

  • Carefully vet abuse claims and require evidence before granting protective orders.
  • Penalize & prosecute those who file false allegations.
  • Appoint an impartial mediator to oversee custody agreements.
  • Make supervised visitation the default when abuse is disputed.
  • Consider parents’ history before restricting custody rights.

Experts also recommend courts order mental health evaluations and parenting classes for high-conflict couples. And provide affordable legal resources so low-income parents can fight false allegations (Avvo, 2023[4]).

What To Do If You’re a Victim

If you’ve been falsely accused of domestic violence or child abuse, stay calm and take it seriously. False allegations can escalate quickly, so you need to respond swiftly (Queens Family Lawyers, 2023[5]):

  • Speak to a lawyer to understand your rights and options.
  • Gather evidence like texts, emails, photos, and witness statements to refute claims.
  • Get ahead of things by filing your own protective order if you have evidence of abuse or threats.
  • Ask the court to order mental health evaluations for all parties.
  • Request supervised visitation if disputed abuse allegations could restrict custody.
  • Act quickly and calmly to avoid escalation while building your defense.

Though frustrating and unjust, try not to retaliate or act rashly. Consult experienced Queens custody lawyers to help protect yourself and your children (Queens Family Lawyers, 2023[5]).

Custody Cases Involving Weaponized Protective Orders

Queens family courts see hundreds of custody disputes involving disputed abuse claims each year. And weaponized protective orders have become an unfortunate common tactic (NY State Unified Court System, 2023[6]).

For example, in a recent Queens child custody case the wife alleged:

  • Her husband committed abuse and strangulation.
  • He violated orders of protection and custody agreements.
  • She felt unsafe and feared for the well-being of their children.

But the husband provided evidence refuting her claims. And the court found the wife had fabricated allegations to gain leverage in their custody battle (NY State Unified Court System, 2023[6]).

Unfortunately similar cases play out every week. Custody evaluators say they’ve seen a surge in disputed abuse claims in recent years. And Queens family lawyers are reporting more clients seeking help fighting weaponized protective orders (NY State Unified Court System, 2023[6]).


Here are further resources if you need more help with custody disputes or protective orders in Queens:

Finding the right legal help can be key to navigating contested custody allegations. Contact experienced Queens family lawyers to protect your rights and your relationships with your children.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

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~George Cherubini

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