Can i draft a letter requesting an apology and releasing my ex-wife from all claims

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Can i draft a letter requesting an apology and releasing my ex-wife from all claims

My wife made very extreme and false allegations to obtain a restraining order and keep our toddler from me. She now regrets those actions and has fired the attorney that directed her. She has never apologized, said she is afraid of incriminating herself and needs to chose her words carefully, BUT we did sign a stipulation ending all RO’s. We are in the middle of the divorce, I do not want those claims against me and I want to clear my name. I would settle for a written apology, can I send a letter requesting one and release her from trouble?

Asked on May 10, 2009 under Family Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is a difficult situation. There are two problems facing your wife, civil liability to you and criminal liability, for making false statements under oath to get the restraining order.

The civil liability part of this is simple, and if you settle the rest of the issues in the divorce, the settlement agreement will routinely include a complete release of all claims by both of you against each other up to the date of the agreement.

The real problem is that your wife might fear prosecution for false swearing, and while such prosecutions are rare, no lawyer worthy of the name would ordinarily advise her to sign a document that admitted a criminal act.

The detailed history of all of this would be necessary, for the attorneys for you and your wife to work out a solution to this.  It might be possible, for example, depending on exactly what was alleged against you, for your wife to sign a statement that said that she believed the allegations she made against you to be true, when she made them, but has since learned otherwise, since that would not be an admission of false swearing.

This is an extremely delicate and important situation, and I think you really need a lawyer's help with this.  If you are not already represented by an attorney, one place you can look for one is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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