During a high-stress custody battle, it’s not uncommon for one parent to falsely accuse another of child abuse. The accusing parent often feels as if the accusations will work in their own favor, giving him or her full custody of the children. It’s not a strategy that works and it can cause the accused parent a lot of stress and the accuser legal penalties.
How you deal with the false accusations will determine the outcome. The courts will have to go through a predefined procedure in order to determine the accusations are false, so you will have to cooperate with the law; at the same time, it is important to understand your rights. You’ll need to gather your own proof to show your innocence including getting the support of others in your life that know your parenting style.
Accusations Can Come From Many Different Sources
It’s common to assume that your ex-spouse is the one that made the false accusations, but they can come from other sources as well. If your ex-spouse has a new significant other in his or her life, that person may make accusations in an effort to get you away from your ex-spouse.
In some cases, the false accusations even come from your own children. Typically, this isn’t their own doing, though. It stems from the brainwashing of a parent. Parents that are involved in a nasty divorce might not hold back when talking to their children about their ex-spouse. These feelings of hatred and contempt can rub off on the children. Eventually, one parent can have enough power over the child to convince him or her to claim that their other parent harms them or has abandoned them in some way.
Cooperate With Child Protective Services
If a judge thinks there is any merit in the accusations made, Child Protective Services will likely get involved. While their investigation can seem invasive and demeaning, they are doing it for the wellbeing of your children. The more that you cooperate with the investigation, the more smoothly the process will go.
The agency might talk to your family, friends, and neighbors. They want to talk to others that can confirm the stories that you tell. They will, of course, look for their own evidence based on the questions and investigations they do. Even if you aren’t guilty of any wrongdoing, it’s a good idea to have a legal resource team on your side so that you cover all of your own legal bases.
Know Your Rights When It Comes to CPS
While the steps you have to take when falsely accused during a custody hearing can be demeaning, you still have rights. First and foremost, you need your legal team on your side. This way you know that your rights are protected. You are likely in a vulnerable state and will do whatever anyone says in order to clear your name. Without a team like National Family Solutions on your side, though, you don’t have anyone helping you clear your name. Don’t rely on your own emotional and possibly clouded judgment.
Even though there is an ongoing investigation, you may still have visitation rights. While the visits may be supervised, you have the right to see your children unless the courts or CPS found incriminating evidence to support the accusations made regarding the children.
Courts rely on evidence for everything. A he-said-she-said argument never ends well for either party. Instead, the courts may want documented evidence of everything that occurs. If you worry that your ex-spouse will falsely accuse you of any type of abuse or wrongdoing, you need witnesses.
The most common time when you’ll need a witness to back you up is any time you spend with your children. While this may not be what you want at the time, it gives you that neutral third party to tell the courts about your behavior while with the children. Any time spent alone is back to the he-said, she-said phenomena.
In addition, you may want a witness when you have any interaction with your ex-spouse. You need irrefutable proof that you didn’t say or do anything that could be considered threatening. While it can seem difficult to have someone at your beck and call, enlisting the help of a few trusted friends can help make the situation a little easier.
You should also keep logs of your phone calls and visitation. Any proof that you can provide of those visits can be helpful as well. The logs prove the continuance of a relationship with your children despite the accusations your ex-spouse has made. If you stay away from the children and don’t even have phone calls with them, your ex-spouse can claim that you abandoned the children. Your logs with phone records, pictures, and witnesses can help your case.
Of course, you should also save any and all emails and texts; keep in mind that your ex will be saving his or hers, too, so never put anything in writing that you will regret later. It can help to have a cooling-off period of a few hours to a few days before sending off any email, text, or other correspondence that you are creating while angry or hurt.
Seek Out a Knowledgeable Legal Advocacy Group
When you face false accusations during a custody battle, you need professionals on your side. An attorney can handle the legal side of things at a high cost, but what about the support and education you need to fight your battle? A legal advocacy group can give you the full support that you need to get through the accusation process while saving you thousands of dollars.
National Family Solutions can help educate you on the steps you need to take outside of the courtroom. We can help you understand your rights and what you need to fight the accusations. You can run anything that you do past our legal experts to learn if you are making a good or bad decision. Operating in heat of the moment is never a good idea when dealing with a custody battle, so having that voice of reason on your side can be beneficial.
False accusations aren’t fun, but they can be fought. You don’t have to assume you’ll lose custody of your children. With the right legal and educational support on your side, you can fight the accusations and win the custody of your children that you deserve.