Unfortunately, a spouse often will rely upon false allegations during child custody and divorce to gain advantage in the proceedings. One spouse points the finger at the other and receives a restraining order from the court. The wife or husband recognizes that doing this will, almost by default, give them custody of the children and exclusive use of the family home. The accused parent then must defend themselves in court and prove these allegations false.
False accusations can be damaging legally and emotionally to the victim. It is terrible to have someone who you once shared a life with make false claims of either abuse or neglect and is something no one is ever really prepared for. You may feel the need to reach out to your soon to be ex-spouse, but this may actually make things worse for you. Additionally, trying to make contact could be used against you, particularly if a Restraining Order has been issued against you by the Court. It is not unheard of for there to be accusations of stalking, harassment, or violence when all you want to do is smooth things over. No matter how tempted you may be, it is best to keep away, and with a clear mind, take more deliberate actions to defend yourself. You should:
1. Gather Evidence – If there is an accusation reported against you, collect evidence that will prove differently. You need names, places, and dates that will prove the charges are false.
2. Seek Legal Counsel – While any general practice attorney can represent you in this kind of situation, it is best to seek an a specialized Divorce and Family Law attorney with experience dealing with these specific issues. A lawyer with the right knowledge and experience can provide you with the best legal counsel and properly protect your interests.
3. If you have children expect state involvement- This is not uncommon when there is an accusation of child neglect or abuse. Therefore, expect a child protective services investigation. While it may seem intrusive, they are only doing their job and in most cases, child protective services will quickly and easily discover the accusations are false.
Ultimately, successfully dealing with false allegations during child custody and divorce proceedings will require a calm demeanor and organization. While no one likes being accused of abuse or neglect, the best thing is knowing your rights. When you educate yourself, you will make better choices. Most importantly, allow a seasoned legal professional to guide you on what you can do and say.
If you have questions regarding a family law or child custody issue, please call our office to speak with an experienced divorce and family law attorney.