Denver, CO asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Colorado

Q: Opposing counsel said I was mentally ill & an alcholic.can she just make these claims that’s aren’t true? How can I stop

The lawyer is doing this because I had told my ex on talking parents I was going to file a motion to relocate. She then came back with accusations to take my kids away. Trying ti get full legal and physical custody. Trying to stop my relocation.

Is it illegal for her to call me mentally I’ll or bad faith? She is using the exact same motion she used in may for emergency full custody that got denied.

It’s all lies & now I have ti go to mediation based on her lying.How can I let the court know what’s going on or get this thrown out?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Sabra M. Janko
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Generally if counsel make recommendations in a motion, he or she has the client verify the facts. You will have an opportunity if you go to court to refute the allegations.

Brock Richard Wood agrees with this answer

Brock Richard Wood
Brock Richard Wood
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Denver, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: I agree with the other attorney who answered this question.

My two cents: If an attorney makes baseless allegations against you, and there is no support for those allegations, that usually is a good thing for you.

Why? Making baseless allegations, that you can prove are baseless, destroys the credibility of the other side. Your credibility in front of the judge is your single greatest weapon. Does the judge find you credible? Does the judge tend to believe that what you says is true? It is hard to earn that credibility in the eyes of the judge, and easy to lose it.

So, you and your attorney will likely try to prove that the allegations ARE, in fact, baseless. If you prove that, it makes the judge tend not to believe the other side. You don't go around making substantial allegations about a party to a case unless you are prepared to defend those allegations with FACTS. Real facts that back up what you are saying.

For example, if the other side claims you are "mentally ill", that is a very serious accusation. People who are truly mentally ill are in a bad position, factually, to ask for parenting time and decision-making authority for their children. If the other side says you are mentally ill, what facts can they produce to defend that statement? Have you ever been treated for mental illness? Have you ever been committed to a mental institution? Do you take anti-psychotic drugs? Are there specific incidents where you "acted in a mentally ill way"? If the answer to those questions (and/or similar questions) is "no", then the accusation that you are "mentally ill" is just the opinion of the other side, unsupported by facts. If you prove that they are making this very serious accusation, without having any facts to back it up, that destroys their credibility in the eyes of the judge. Then, the next time the other side makes an accusation, the judge may think, "Hmm. I wonder if they are just blowing smoke again." You see?

Consult with an experienced family law attorney and let the attorney analyze the accusations being made and the facts, or lack of facts, to support the accusations. Then get the attorney's advice about what to do about the baseless allegations. It could be as simple as just proving the accusations are baseless in a response document or other court filing.

Good luck to you!

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