Low Standard of Evidence in Abuse Claims Exploited in “Silver Bullet Divorce” Trend

The silver bullet works great in divorce cases. Merely make up a phony charge against your spouse, and he's cooked,

Many family law attorneys are using “Silver Bullet Divorce” tactics, prompting clients to file false spousal and child abuse claims against their spouses to gain leverage in divorce cases.

Here is a guest view on the topic by a commenter we like to call Ann Johnson.

By Ann Johnson

The Luigi DiRubba case sounds like a “Silver Bullet Divorce.”

What is a Silver Bullet Divorce?

If you search online, you’ll find several blogs and instruction sites on how to kick your spouse out and gain leverage in a divorce case.

One common thread is, if all else fails, file a PFA (Protection From Abuse) or child abuse claim.

While domestic violence cases can be legitimate, the standard of evidence is entirely too low.

The elected officials and attorneys who created this low standard teach other attorneys how to profit from this.

In Williamson County, Texas, Assistant District Attorney Leslie Levy held a seminar to teach family law attorneys how to employ PFAs to gain advantage for their clients in a divorce case.

This is a video in which Attorney Leslie Levy instructs other attorneys on how to use PFAs in their divorce, so her office doesn’t have to deal with them.

The purpose of this seminar was to shift the caseload from her office directly to the family law attorneys, since doing the PFA as a part of their divorce case does not put the burden on the DA’s office, which then does not have to be the ones to prosecute.

The seminar was necessary, since so many family law attorneys use the “silver bullet,” not as actual protection from abuse, but as a negotiating tool. The DA’s office was overloaded with prosecuting the cases, which are often rubber-stamped by judges.

We won’t quote the whole video, but here are some memorable quotes:

Asst. DA Levy: We got this guy kicked out from his house because it was too close to her house. The constable called and said: “You realize the result of this is that he has to leave his house?” Asst. DA: Yes, we do. It’s up to him if he wants to violate that protective order or not.

Assistant DA Levy spends 38 minutes telling the group of family law attorneys why doing the PFA [rather than going through the DA’s office with their clients’ phony claims] is advantageous in divorce, and how to file them in a way that requires the least evidence, as well as the technicalities in some easier-to-stick charges.

We acknowledge that domestic violence is real, and something needs to exist for it. But putting in place laws that can be applied without evidence destroys families and children. That is not how to do it.

Asst. DA Levy: Who here has filed a divorce and filed a protective order as a part of it? [mostly all hands go up] I love that! …so I would encourage you very strongly if you have one of those cases to do the protective order as part of your case. It gives you more leverage in negotiating a settlement.

Asst DA Levy: My point is that it often will help your case to do it. You’ll get evidence that will be just as applicable in the divorce, it’ll leverage onto your divorce, and you can file it into the divorce.

At minute 32, Attorney Levy comments on how judges hate to rule on cases involving children when there is no evidence of harm to the child or against the parent. Her solution? File it with the divorce.

And why is that?

Minute 38, because they feel they are using criminal courts to get a divorce. And in divorce cases, you do not need evidence–just a reasonable fear.

Asst. DA: If you file it into your divorce and do it as a part of a temporary order, that concern goes away…and its not in the code but a preference…so if you file it into yours, you can get a better outcome, a better settlement…it will help your case in the long run… I am happy to send you all the forms we use.




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  • False Allegations: Child Sex Abuse
    False Allegations Of Child AbuseThe National Fathers’ Resource Center and Fathers for Equal Rights is adamant in its belief that child abuse in general cannot be tolerated; and child sexual abuse, in particular, is among the most heinous of deeds. Sexual abusers of children must be exposed for their criminal acts. The guilty must be punished, and children must be protected from their aggressors. Preferring to err on the side of false accusations rather than to risk a child’s safety, some courts have tended toward a mind-set of “guilty until proven innocent” in the case of alleged sexual abuse. We appreciate the good intentions of this conservative approach; but we are also keenly aware of the devastation that it wreaks on the falsely accused, especially when coupled with the “winner takes it all” mentality of some divorce and custody battles.

    False allegations of child sexual abuse have become “a popular game” in family courts in recent years. Statistically, it has been reported that 70-80% of divorce-linked child sexual abuse cases are hoaxes. Since it is nearly impossible to “prove yourself innocent,” it is often preferable to approach the problem by demonstrating that the allegations are unsubstantiated, illogical, self-contradictory, and frivolous. The accusations don’t make sense; they don’t stack-up; they’re just not believable!

    There are times when nobody should attempt to represent himself/herself as a pro se litigant, and anytime you are facing false allegations of sex abuse, you need an attorney skilled in cross-examination. Often, parents falsely accused of child abuse, including sexual abuse, need the assistance of both a civil-law attorney to handle the divorce and/or custody issues and a criminal-law attorney to represent the accused in criminal court. This is no time for amateur pro se representation: the stakes are too high for the child’s well-being, the child’s self-esteem, your reputation, your job, your peace of mind, and even your freedom.

    You can be of tremendous assistance to your attorney in preparing your defense if you take advantage of the varied resources available to help you understand the nature of false accusations. These resources range from reading materials and mental health professionals, to organizations that specialize in working with people for whom false allegations have split their families apart and inflicted terrible pain on everyone concerned.

    Do The Math! Approximately 7,600 reports of child abuse occur each day and over 7,200 are eventually classified as false allegations. Since only 400 are confirmed as valid cases, why are over 3,000 children taken from parents each day? That’s over 1,000,000 children every year. Why are billions of taxpayer dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-hours wasted investigating false allegations of abuse? Why are kicking, screaming children forcibly removed from loving, responsible parents and placed in foster care where they are ten times more likely to be physically and/or sexually abused? The threat to the health and welfare of families is real, epidemic, and must be dealt with through effective Family Rights legislation.”

    The NFRC and FER strongly suggest that for those who are falsely accused; never, never plea-bargain “no contest.” The effects of such an action are devastating. You will be forever known as a deviant sex offender and you will never be able to recover a normal life.

    Texas Family Code, Chapter 153.013 and 261.107, Report of Child Abuse. Includes a section titled “False Report.”

    Advanced Family Law Course, Vol 4, 1989, State Bar of Texas. See Chapter UU – “Litigating a Child Abuse Claim.” This chapter instructs attorneys how to “put together” their case; how to organize the information, present the evidence, exhibits, etc., whether prosecuting or defending the accused. An appendix to this chapter, written by Dr. Kit Harrison, titled “False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse” addresses reasons for false claims and some methods used by psychologists for detecting false claims. This chapter can help you organize your notes, facts, and evidence for your attorney.

    Advanced Family Law Course, Vol 3, 1990, State Bar of Texas. Chapter AA – “Child Abuse and Custody” addresses many aspects of the problem, including the competence of a child witness, the hearsay rule, use (and problems) of anatomically correct dolls, whether children lie about sexual abuse, and the trial. By Judge Enrique Pena.

    Advanced Family Law Course, Vol 4, 1991. (Found in any Texas Law Library.) Chapter TT – “Sex Abuse” discusses opinion and expert testimony; the role of the Attorney Ad Litem (for the child); simultaneous criminal and civil proceedings in a child sex abuse case; and the evaluation of a child abuse case from the prosecutor’s point of view.

    Marriage Dissolution, Vol 1, 1991, State Bar of Texas. (Found in any Texas Law Library.) Chapter Q – “Abuse: Physical, Sexual and Emotional” addresses problems related to allegations, the credibility of the accuser(s), and the use of mental health professionals. It suggests pre-trial intervention measures for protecting the child, and aspects of the judicial process including communication between courts.

    Domestic Torts by Leonard Karp. (Found in any County Law Library.)

    There are several books on the shelf dealing with neglect and abuse of children, and how the courts handle such claims. This is one of the better books in the collection. (A tort is a wrongful act for which a civil action will exist, except for an act involving a breach of contract.)

    Ashes to Ashes Families to Dust, False Accusations of Child Abuse: A Roadmap for Survival by Dean Tong, Family Rights Press, Tampa, FL, 1996. Paperback, $18.95. A must read. (Call 800-987-7771 to order.)

    After false allegations of child sexual abuse have been entered into the court, either in the form of written pleadings or orally at a hearing, you may ask the court to appoint a psychologist to evaluate the entire family. A court-appointed evaluator eliminates arguments between spouses about which psychologist to use. Several of them specialize in children and are highly regarded by the courts for impartiality, objectivity and integrity in their evaluations and reports. Some, unfortunately, are “hired guns” and cannot be trusted. The better psychologists do not attempt to represent just one parent to the court; they evaluate entire families. Sessions are typically 45-50 minutes in length. You can expect fees in the neighborhood of $100 per hour. Some psychologists accept insurance.

    The Fathers for Equal Rights organization, FER, maintain a referral listing of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors and other mental health professionals to assist members. Members should consult with our chapter or the Dallas chapter’s Mental Health Consultant (below), who is a licensed social worker and marriage & family therapist, before selecting counselors, mediators, or other mental health professionals. You will be referred to a professional who can provide appropriate services for yourself, your children, or your family, according to your particular circumstances. We can also prepare you to anticipate specific questions that are frequently asked during social studies.

    Stephen D. Finstein , LMSW-ACP, Mental Health Consultant. 1222 Commerce Street, Suite 410. Phone 214-749-0614.

    (If you have committed a sexual offense against a child and sincerely want to prevent a relapse, and you want to protect society, effective rehabilitative treatment is available through a Registered Sex Offender Treatment Provider (RSOTP). For referral to a qualified therapist, contact Stephen D. Finstein , LMSW-ACP. Confidentiality is assured.)

  • False Allegations of Abuse During Divorce: The Role of Alienating Beliefs
    “False allegations of abuse are an all-too-common phenomenon during divorce and child custody proceedings. One parent fabricates a false allegation against the other parent to gain leverage in court and to undermine the parent-child relationship going forward. The frequency of false allegations in custody cases is not fully understood, with estimates ranging from 2% to 35% of all cases involving children.1 Whatever the percentage, attorneys, judges, and mental health experts all know firsthand that it is a vexing problem in court cases. And nothing can disrupt, sidetrack, or impede a case more than an allegation of abuse that eventually proves to be false.”

    Here are 7 common alienating beliefs that occur in false allegations:

    1. “I am afraid our child will love you more than me and will want to live with you.”
    2. “I want my child all to myself.”
    3. “If you don’t want me, you don’t get our child, either.”
    4. “I want to exact revenge on you, and what better way than to deprive you of your child.
    5. “I don’t want my child to be anything like you.”
    6. “I’ve been the real parent in this family, not you.”
    7. “I don’t want my child to love their new stepparent because I might be pushed out.”

  • http://www.stephenkrasner.com/articles-family-law.html Enough information to make your head spin.
    A Broken System: Halls of Justice

    Stephen Krasner, Contributor

    2016 – A Broken System Series​
    A Broken System: Halls of Justice
    A Broken System: Motions for Money
    A Broken System: Fighting To Be A Dad
    A Broken System: Misconduct and Whistle-Blowing
    A Broken System: Parental Alienation
    A Broken System: Stewards of Fraud
    A Broken System: Child-Parent Sanctity (CPS)
    A Broken System: Veteran and Service Member Mistreatment
    A Broken System: Court Sanctioned Legal Abuse
    A Broken System: Contempt Of Family Court

    2017 – A Broken System Series
    A Broken System: Timed-Out Custody
    Parental Alienation Is Erasing Family
    A Broken System: Unconstitutionality Of Family Law
    A Broken System: Oaths Betrayed In Family Law
    A Broken System: Gatekeeping And Alienation
    A Broken System: Court Of Parents
    A Broken System: Web Of Enforcement
    A Broken System: Wake Of Family Law
    A Broken System: Fostering Abusive Dysfunction
    A Broken System: Parental Voices Unsilenced​

    ​2018 – A Broken System Series
    A Broken System: A Court’s Eye View
    A Broken System: Obstruction of Parental Rights
    A Broken System: Deportation of Innocence
    A Broken System: Electing Judicial Bias

  • 99 percent of domestic abuse reported is false according to Joan. Statistically false. She has no license to practice. Should a judge or court system employees be educated by this woman? Maybe court professionals educated by this woman should be rescued from cases. Ethical education and factual information make for a functional court system.

  • Many women falsely claim DV for court purposes, and once they get the agreement or settlement they want, they drop DV case. They use DV as a sword rather than a shield. And then when a real case of DV happens…these people are buried in the other fake DV cases. And the burden of proof for DV is so low…

    • mic drop! That is called the Silver Bullet tactic. Heavily influenced by shady unethical pseudo lawyers, double prong effect Criminal and Family court spells CHA CHINNNNNNGGGGGG!

  • This is so dirty and why the family court system needs to be shutdown. Family courts are not the proper place for supposed abuse claims. This is a criminal claim and needs to be in criminal court only.

    Worse, while the women’s rights groups claim that 73% of all DV cases gets dismissed, and that this is a serious issue because the kids are supposedly going to abusers. What they haven’t considered in their faulty statistics is that 73% were unfounded because they were probably false allegations. This means we have a serious epidemic of false allegations being filed. This is a very sad commentary, not only because of the “silver-bullet” false claims, but because the DV organizations actually are reporting false information, which makes it look like there is an epidemic in this country of abuse. If we truly have an epidemic of DV abuse, this is NOT how you handle it. Epidemics are not treated in the courts. They are treated as whole in society through medical means. But I suspect that if someone did a proper scientific study, they would find that the 73% figure would actually show that 70% of the unsubstantiated were false allegations, leaving only 3% that we inappropriately decided.


    My thoughts:
    1) All financial matters related to a divorce are only in regular civil court. Stop mixing the apples and oranges. Coparenting the children is completely separate from financial matters. You do not need money to coparent.

    2) If there are true allegations of abuse or neglect, they need to be properly investigated to rule out all of the false allegations and this can only be done in Criminal court. In criminal court, a low income parent can get legal assistance to defend the allegations and be properly represented. Typically family law attorneys are NOT criminal attorneys. To include this in family court means, that all family attorneys must now also be criminal attorneys.

    3) Family court cases need to be mediated and mediated and mediated and mediated and mediated and mediated until such time there is enough evidence that one party or both are refusing to coparent. Mediators need to be trained mental health professionals or at the least there be a mediation team that includes an attorney and a mental health professional. If there are financial issues directly related to the children’s activities or care, then a financial expert is added.


  • Lived it , endured it and still can’t believe it that it happened to me. Fraud, deceit and corruption all wrapped up with a bow on top. Slime bag attorneys will have their judgement day.

  • I spent 281 days in the same jail cell with the guy who murdered one of my best friends for a letter now proven to have been written by my ex’s Divorce Attorney who is also Speaker Pro-tempore for the House of NC, rewrote most of the Divorce Code for NC, and is over Family Law Reform for NC.
    The Silver Bullet Technique is nothing new and it almost destroyed me.
    Here is a link from my 2016 Fox News interview titled Surry County Man Shares The Silver Bullet Technique.


  • What really sucks is that when the abuse allegations are real no one believes it

    Or if they do believe it, the system is designed to Pooh Pooh it

    • Anonymous go home , another false narrative trying to one up the article. Are you one of those woman in the CT DV group who claim men all were involved in JFK’s death?

    • Yes, when there are real abuse may be against man or woman regardless, it is Pooh Poohed because they’re a mini out there that abuse it and utilize it for advantage in divorce, proceedings, financially, and custody so they ruined it for the true cases

  • This is precisely what Riordan tried to pull, and it backfired on her. Beware that the “silver bullet” can blow up in your face.

  • Interestng piece.

    A basic principle of law should be that nothing should be accepted without evidence, and this is equally important in civil law. Any kind of claim of this nature should be made under oath, and provably false claims made under oath treated as perjury.

    Of course attoernies will use any loopholes they can find to assist their clients – they are duty-bound to do so. That’s why lawmakers need to thnk ahead when drafting legisilation to anticipate and preempt loopholes. That of course is assuming that their interests are fair and objective. Where the political process itself becomes selfishly corrupt, then so do the laws that it formulates.

    Ultimately, the health of our legal system reflects the health of our society. Children who are deprived of one parent for no good reason suffer a form of long term abuse that can be as as significant on their long term mental health as any other, and this can also feed into the future health of any society.

  • For every silver bullet case there are thousands of false alligations of parental alienation. The system is designed for profit and is doing nothing for the American public but taking everyones money.

  • Is Assistant DA Levy going to be Fired??? This is outrageous. The AFCC does plenty of instruction on how to run the parental alienation game, but they hide from responsibility. It seems clear this is one individual who is obstructing justice.

  • I think your guest is being far too kind to the court system and lawyers that employ these draconian tactics. This Asst DA should be arrested for conspiracy. It’s on video. Her “technique” is to deny one litigant civil rights, and teaching lawyers to do it and how is clear defined Conspiracy.

    I especially detest the bragging about using orders to make someone homeless. That is truly despicable. Family law lawyers are literally the lowest dregs of society, below fentanyl dealers and serial rapists. Serial rapists and fentanyl dealers at least have to work with the fear they may eventually be held accountable. These sick, disgusting individuals get off on ruining people’s lives and destroying family.

    TRANSPARENCY IN ALL COURT ACTIONS INCLUDING TRAINING. Any time anyone in government holds any meeting on training or policy, there should be minutes, agenda, and a video recording that isn’t designed to hide the whole truth. The moment we the people stop holding these floater turds accountable and flushing them from society, was the moment we gave up on protecting families out of fear of unchecked, petty and unlawful retaliation.

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