Falsely accusing a former spouse of abuse has become an increasingly common tactic in family courts over the last few years—particularly in highly contested divorce and custody cases. However, not all of these reports are substantiated. While many of the individuals who deny child abuse are guilty, there are many other cases where those who deny such allegations are innocent.
If a resentful spouse files false charges of child abuse against you and acquires a temporary protection order, it is crucial you take immediate action to minimize the effects that the TPO may have on your life, as well as on a potential divorce or child custody battle later on. A temporary protection order may be used as a tool to keep you away from both the children and the family home, giving the other party an advantage in terms of obtaining custody of the kids.
Dealing with the Children
In some cases, an adult may possibly be influencing a child’s allegation. In other cases, a child’s allegation may be based on his or her overactive imagination. False allegations may simply be made to harm the accused. In the meantime, children are separated from their well-meaning parents while investigations take place. These children may become so estranged from the accused parent that their relationship can never be repaired.
Your children may be subject to numerous psychological and physical examinations, and may possibly be turned against you, eventually coming to believe that something really did happen. If the false allegation of abuse falls under the context of a custody battle, see to it that your relationship with your children remains positive. It is unlikely your children are ultimately liable for these false accusations, and they may not completely understand the allegations being made against you.
Seek Legal Representation
If you are innocent of the claims of abuse being brought against you, you may be under the impression that the truth will eventually prevail. However, you cannot simply trust that accuser will change his or her mind or believe that the truth will inevitably come out. It is important to understand that in such cases, the accused is generally seen as guilty unless proven innocent. Do not delay your defense. Immediately seek legal representation from an attorney who can protect your best interests and effectively defend the charge being filed against you.
Inform your attorney of all facts that may be relevant to your case, voice your concerns, and ask all questions you may have. You may be asked to speak with family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and other individuals about testifying on your behalf. You may also need to collect emails, text messages and other forms of evidence to support your case.
Throughout the duration of the case, do not admit to an act that you did not do. It may be easier to admit to a lesser charge than to defend yourself, but you should consider the impact that child abuse allegations may have in your life. Being a suspect in an abuse case can result in your children being removed from your care, being jailed, and losing visitation or custody rights. It can also affect the quality of your relationships with friends and family, as well as ruin your prospective career.
Though the accusations being made against you are false, you should take them seriously. Consult with an attorney, but try to live your life as normally as possible while maintaining good credibility. Keep firm in your position, but also cooperate with the authorities. Backed by quality legal support, you will be more likely to overcome the false allegations being made against you.