Perhaps the most damaging allegation that a person going through a divorce can make about their spouse is that they have abused their children. Unfortunately, false allegations of abuse occur in some contentious divorces and child custody battles.
In some cases, a parent truly believes that their co-parent has been abusive — perhaps because of something a child has said or may be based on the suspicions of a relative or friend. In other cases, however, people will knowingly level a false accusation at their spouse to gain greater custody rights or simply to punish them. Meanwhile, the children caught in the middle may be the ones who suffer the most.
You may be able to avoid false accusations by working to keep negotiations with your spouse amicable. However, if you’re falsely accused of abusing your child, it’s essential to cooperate with authorities. Social workers, law enforcement officers and the courts have to take these allegations seriously. Their primary concern is your children’s well-being. Lashing out at them or refusing to cooperate will only harm your case.
Don’t lash out at your co-parent, either. That’s easier said than done. However, escalating the negativity will only make the situation worse.
Assemble a list of family members, friends, neighbors and others who can testify on your behalf. They may have to testify in court or perhaps submit an affidavit.
Don’t let your relationship with your children suffer. They’re likely innocent victims as well. Even if they’ve made false accusations, they may have done so at the urging of your co-parent or others or perhaps had their words misunderstood or twisted to harm you. If restrictions are placed on your visitation with your kids while the accusations are being investigated, comply with them.
Don’t admit to anything you didn’t do, even if it seems like that will help you reach a compromise. Follow your attorney’s advice every step of the way. Have confidence that the truth will win out.