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Divorce and child custody cases are full of emotional decisions and the potential for heartbreak. And these possibilities can make a parent desperate enough to make false allegations.
While most instances of false allegations in a family court case resolve without much trouble, the emotional impact of the allegations remains long after the case is resolved.
Here are some things you need to do if you’re facing false allegations in your divorce or custody case:
Understand the Motivation
It may feel as if your ex’s accusations are made out of malice and a desire to “ruin your life.” And they may be.
However, false allegations often are born of desperation on the part of the other parent. They worry that they’ll lose out on something in the divorce, and they make accusations in the hope that something sticks and they can get what they want.
While understanding this motivation doesn’t make the accusations any less stressful or frustrating, knowing that the other parent is just grasping at straws can help you relax a little and not lash out in anger.
Control Your Reaction
You know the phrase in the Miranda declaration, “Anything you say can and will be used against you”? It applies to civil cases as well.
If you’re being falsely accused of something, it’s very easy for you to lash out and say or do things – in text or in person – that could hurt you in the long run.
Be careful who you talk to when false allegations are lodged against you. Anyone, even your own friends and family, can be called as a witness to describe your reaction. That means they will have to truthfully recount anything you said in anger, or even as a passing joke.
And don’t post about the accusations, or your case, on your social media accounts. It’s not worth risking your entire case just to post that vague-but-pointed meme.
The best defense against false accusations is proof that what your ex says isn’t true.
If your ex accuses you of abuse, for example, showing that you have no record with local child protection agencies, as well as records from your children’s schools and doctors, can bolster your case.
In cases where your ex accuses you of not doing something, such as not ensuring that your child’s homework is done or not picking up your children from school on time, collecting statements from teachers or even using time logging apps to provide raw data.
Find an Attorney
Yes, hiring an attorney can be expensive, but if you’re facing false allegations at the hands of your ex, the help of someone experienced and knowledgeable will make a world of difference.
Your attorney can help you collect the necessary evidence to fight the allegations and represent you in court, if necessary. Additionally, an attorney can help calm your fears about your ex’s false allegations, and give you some peace of mind that you may not be able to find otherwise in the situation.
You want those false accusations to go away right now, but unfortunately you may have to wait a while for things to go through their proper process.
Try not to rush the process, and realize that the day will come that you receive some sort of resolution.
Lying in court is a crime, and the punishment your ex may see depends on the severity. They could face a fine or jail time, or could lose or get limited custody if the accusation involves a child.
Experienced Divorce Attorney in Washington, D.C.
At Lopez Law Firm, we work hard to make sure our clients get the resolution they deserve, especially in the face of false allegations. If you’re in this situation, let us help – Schedule your consultation today!