What to Do About False Allegations in Child Custody and Divorce Cases
When your co-parent makes false accusations against you, their words, however unfounded, could seriously harm your child custody or divorce case. Whether you’re just now going through the beginning of a divorce or are rehashing a custody issue for the fifth time, any words against you, as a parent, can be particularly damaging.
Some of the common false accusations include:
- Child abuse and negligence
- Drug and alcohol addiction
- Accusations of criminal offenses
- Accusations of domestic violence
- Lying on your legal forms
- Failure to adhere to custody rules
These types of allegations can cause major issues that can jeopardize the outcome of your legal case. If you find yourself facing false allegations during your child custody battle, make sure you know your legal rights in this situation and discover how to respond appropriately.
1. Understand the Motive
Resorting to false accusations can be an indication that your spouse or ex-spouse is desperate. They may try to accuse you of abuse, neglect, or failure to follow court orders to paint you as an unfit parent in order to gain custody.
These allegations should be acknowledged and addressed immediately to protect your right to custody. If the accusations are false and the truth is on your side, you should be able to easily prove your innocence with the help of an attorney.
2. Gathering Your Own Evidence
Defend yourself against these allegations by gathering all evidence to prove that these accusations are false. It may seem frustrating and ridiculous to have to prove that you are in the right, but it is necessary because the courts are extra vigilant about protecting the well-being of children and take allegations of abuse very seriously. So, instead of focusing on the injustice of the situation, think about what you can do to show the court that you are a good parent.
Depending on the types of allegations your ex has made, make sure you find substantial evidence to contradict their claims, such as:
- If you are accused of having a history of child abuse, show the court that you have a clean criminal record.
- If they claim you never pick up your children on time, have a schoolteacher or other authority figure vouch for your timely presence.
- You could also gather character witnesses and log your activity using apps that can verify a timestamp to back up your position.
There are many ways that you can prove the allegations against you are false.
3. Work with an Attorney
Every case requires a unique strategy and approach, so it’s important to discuss the specifics of your situation with your attorney. Explain the accusations to your attorney and tell them the truth about what is really going on. Is your co-parent angry or trying to get back at you for some reason? Are they threatening to take away your children if you don’t agree to other terms? Whatever the case, discuss the situation with your attorney openly and honestly to receive the best guidance on what to do with your case.
Contact McKinley Irvin at our Washington office to discuss your child custody or divorce case with our family law attorneys.