I wrote a long post to this before deleting the whole damn lot. So here goes. Are you ready? I need you to read, re-read and read again the best kept secret of how to respond to any allegations you dispute:
Now…I’m aware this is probably a bit of a let down here. You were expecting some legal pearl of wisdom weren’t you?
Sorry. But this is an absolute gem.
Simply put…you don’t have to prove that something didn’t happen. The other party has to prove it did. Now I hear you say `You can say that but I was accused of all sorts and it stopped contact’.
I don’t doubt it.
That’s because the court is obliged to investigate any allegations that may impact on the best interests of the child (if it’s a Children Act case that is). If it’s a finance matter (anciliary relief as it’s known in the trade) behaviour is seldom a factor to considered, not that it stops people trying. If the court is interested in evidence…it will ask. If it wants to hear your side of the story…it will ask.
So let me give you a game plan here.
If you are accused of something that isn’t true use this magic phrase. If you have (or can get) evidence to disprove allegations, do so – and take it with you. Should it look like these allegations are going to delay matters you will be able to deploy this evidence as needed.
So that’s it. Don’t waste your time producing a 57-page rebuttal of everything flung at you (ever see `The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’…that’ll be you, in court, with no time to discuss what it is you want to ordered but with an ever growing list of your alleged misdeeds that the other party `remembers’ as time goes on). Don’t do it even if you really, really want to, because of `the principal’ or even so `he/she can see how he/she likes it’.
Be clear from the off what it is you want to achieve and don’t be distracted at any point. Keep your eye on the ball.