Combating False Allegations During Custody Proceedings

Custody battles are contentious even under normal circumstances. However, there are some people who will try to gain the upper hand in court through nefarious means, which includes making false allegations of child abuse.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of these allegations, you might feel helpless and scared. You might worry that if you can’t effectively refute these allegations, you will lose out on custody of your child and your reputation will be destroyed.

The divorce and custody lawyers of The Grey Legal Group have a wealth of experience navigating contention within custody proceedings, and we want to advise you on how best to approach false allegations. Whether these allegations concern child or spousal abuse, sexual abuse, or some other misrepresentation of your relationship with your ex-spouse and children, we want to arm you with the tools you need to refute these falsehoods.

Combating False Allegations During Custody Proceedings

Dispute Allegations

The first thing you need to know is that it’s essential to remain cool, calm, and collected; flying off the handle at your ex will not give a favorable impression of you and can even potentially demonstrate that there is truth to any allegations involving anger issues. Additionally, retaliating can escalate the conflict, which would not be ideal for the sake of your children, who might feel caught in the middle.

The proper avenue for disputing allegations is through your lawyer, who can communicate your side of the story with the court. Speak with your lawyer to get a better understanding of what you’re being accused of, and the two of you can game a strategy to refute your ex’s lies and paint a more accurate portrait of you.

If the allegations against you are particularly egregious, you can try to solicit an emergency hearing, especially if you fear that your ex might try to run off with your child or otherwise take further measures to alienate you.

If you cannot get an immediate hearing, you might wait weeks before you can get in front of a judge. If you have this time, you can use it wisely to document your experiences as much as possible in order to back up your side of the story.

Collect Evidence

The next best thing you can do to clear your name is collect evidence in your favor. Keep in mind that your spouse’s goal is to gain sole custody of your child, so they will need to provide proof for their allegations–the court will not just take their word. If no proof exists, you will not have to achieve too much legwork. However, it’s best to arrive prepared, especially if you feel your ex is not above faking evidence.

Documentation such as communication between the two of you and photos that demonstrate the reality of the relationship with your ex and with your child will help absolve you and expose your ex’s story as false. If you are being accused of infidelity, for example, records of texts and phone calls during any alleged cheating incidents can speak in your favor.

Again, the onus of responsibility is on your ex to prove these allegations. However, if their lies have prompted you to seek sole custody for yourself, significant instances of your ex telling harmful lies that can be backed up by proof–such as a confession over text, for example–can favor your testimony.

If you have people in your life who can attest to your character–or attest to any habitual lying by your ex–you can ask to admit their character references. If you are truly concerned that your ex will try to force these allegations or go to lengths to sully your good name, a large quantity of evidence and a willingness to be fully transparent will factor significantly in your favor, especially if your ex is not as willing or able to provide evidence of their own.

Third-Party Engagement

Asking for third party references can also help support you and refute allegations against you. You can go to different lengths depending on the accusations, for instance:

  • If you are being accused of child abuse, you can engage child psychologists to evaluate your child for signs of abuse and relay their testimony to the court.
  • If you are being accused of infidelity, you can get testimony from people you were with at the time the alleged infidelity took place.
  • If you are accused of having a drug problem, you can get tested for drug usage to prove that you have been sober.
  • If you are accused of alcohol addiction, you can track your sobriety via breathalyzer and similar instruments to disprove addiction allegations.

Depending on the specifics of the allegations against you, you can work with your custody lawyer on a strategy to provide clear-cut evidence that supports your good name and clean reputation.

Consequences For False Allegations In Custody Cases

Being found lying in court is never rewarded by the law. At the very least, it might cost your ex a more favorable custody arrangement if you are able to prove that their accusations are lies. However, there can also be steeper penalties.

Lying about abuse in particular in order to obtain favor in child custody decisions is especially looked down upon. Family Code 3027.1 states that anyone–be it the ex-spouse, their attorney, or another witness–who knowingly made false abuse accusations can be fined with “reasonable money sanctions.”

Again, you can also seek to limit the custody and visitation of your accuser, particularly if you can demonstrate that the accusations have been harmful to your child or have damaged your relationship with your child. If you can prove that your accuser’s lies are habitual or that they demonstrate similar harmful behavior on a regular basis, you can attempt to obtain full custody of your child.

The Grey Legal Group Can Help Support You During Custody Proceedings

If you are seeking a custody arrangement and want support from a legal team who cares and has the knowledge to help support you, reach out to The Grey Legal Group. We are an experienced group of lawyers who can advise you throughout the custody process. Whether you are dealing with accusations from a venomous ex or you are trying to get a custody arrangement modified or you are new to this process and unsure where to start, we can help. Reach out to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team and learn how we can make a difference in your custody experience.

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The Grey Legal Group

At The Grey Legal Group, we believe in helping all families with their legal needs so they can be protected on your journey back to a calmer, happier place of stability. Whether it is divorce, child custody, guardianship, domestic violence, or adoption, we have seen it all before and we can help you through it. With the legal knowledge and experience we bring to the table, we will be certain to find the best and most efficient solution to your situation.

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