I Was Accused of Child Abuse in My Divorce Case. What Should I Do?March 23, 2023
Divorce is often fraught with unresolved emotions and overwhelming tension, which can easily spiral out of control, especially if one spouse is intent on hurting the other spouse. So when your spouse falsely accuses you of child abuse while you’re going through a divorce, it can be incredibly infuriating. Child abuse is never okay. In fact, it is illegal.
Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the gravity of child abuse allegations to revoke their spouse’s parental rights when fighting over child custody during a divorce. Other common reasons why someone might falsely accuse their spouse of child abuse can include:
Humiliate and degrade the other parent
Destroy the other parent’s relationship with their child
Receive free legal counseling and assistance as a family violence victim
Force the other parent to leave the family home because of a protective order
Ruin the other parent’s finances due to the legal fees they’ll spend defending themselves
Send the other parent to prison
Regardless of the reason behind your spouse’s false accusations, you should know your legal rights to make sure that you protect your child’s best interests and avoid criminal penalties.
Discuss Your Case With a Santa Barbara Family Law Attorney ASAP
If your spouse has falsely accused you of child abuse, you must talk to an attorney who has experience handling cases similar to yours. Otherwise, you risk losing shared child custody or visitation rights, ruining your reputation, losing your job, and going to prison for up to three years. A family law attorney who has ample experience with criminal law will know what to do to ensure that you secure the best possible results for your case.
Also, it’s a good idea to work with a Santa Barbara family lawyer who has experience with personal injury law. It is a misdemeanor in California to make a false child abuse report. A person who intentionally or recklessly makes a false accusation of child abuse may face a fine not exceeding $1,000 and six months of jail time. You also have the right to file a lawsuit against your spouse for defamation and emotional distress.
Know How to Deal With The Authorities
If someone from Child Protective Services (CPS) or a police officer contacts you, or if you’ve been arrested, you should only provide your name, date of birth, and address. Politely decline to answer any questions and invoke your legal right to call an attorney.
Inform Your Family Members and Close Friends
Tell them about what’s happening. Ask them if they’re willing to help you fight the false child abuse allegations against you by giving factual information about how your parent your child.
Seek Legal Guidance From a Skilled Santa Barbara Family Law Attorney Today
Our Santa Barbara family law attorneys at Bamieh & De Smeth know full well that not all parents accused of abusing their child are guilty. Don’t let your spouse’s false allegations of child abuse ruin your relationship with your beloved child. To schedule your free case evaluation with our Santa Barbara family law attorney, fill out our online form or call 805-643-5555.