How to handle false allegations in child custody and divorce cases
For a number of different reasons, child custody or divorce cases may devolve to one or the other spouse making false allegations. It is not uncommon in court to hear accusations ranging from domestic issues to financial to child abuse or neglect.
The impetus behind the claims might stem from a parent’s desire, for example, to push the tide well in their favor in efforts to gain full child custody. These might be allegations of sexual offenses, emotional abuse, or domestic violence to name a few.
Crying wolf in court
In all instances of allegations in the state of Michigan, the welfare of a child is often at risk or at the very least, quibbling spouses renders one or the other at a substantial loss. Consider a sensitive child custody case, for instance, when one parent tries to trick the court into believing the other parent is guilty of something. The child’s welfare cannot then be substantiated in the midst of an opposing parent’s claim, which opens a complex process of verifying truths in order to grant fair living conditions for the child.
In the end, however, the cloud of the allegation will follow the accused parent for the rest of their life, regardless of the accusation’s validity. Does the accused parent have any recourse to clear their name or move toward revisiting the case?
Investigating an allegation
A false allegation may be uttered as a simple, one sentence statement during a court proceeding, but that statement starts a very lengthy and expensive investigation and litigation process that typically requires expert testimony, police records, physician statements, or other agency involvement. This of course introduces new variables to the mix and creates additional issues, all based on false allegations.
Consider an example of a parent making an allegation that they later discover doesn’t hold water. In a panic, they throw out new accusations like confetti, hoping one falls in their favor with the court. This goes on to cause potentially years of court proceedings, harassment, or even criminal charges and worst of all, significant emotional duress for any children involved.
In fact, some people go to such great extents of allegations that the other parent loses the ability to associate or even speak to their child.
Regardless of reasons for false allegations, you must take action immediately so your attorney can make like haste in resolving the issue, especially in more serious situations. Michigan courts take allegations claims seriously and sometimes make a decision before you have opportunity to gather all of the evidence. Alert your attorney right away, no matter if the allegation is true or false or somewhere in between. This is especially important if false allegations arise from simple misunderstanding; for example, if a child says something that is misunderstood by a parent or vice versa.
Unfortunately, some false allegations are made simply from spite or selfish reasons. An angry parent may purposely accuse the other of a horrible act to gain custody or financial advantage in the case. Other instances involve visitation time. The good news is most judges will easily call on a false accusation.
Nevertheless, your best strategy is to remain organized and take swift action before allegations spiral out of control.
For more advice on false allegations in child custody and divorce cases, contact Gucciardo Law Firm at (248) 723-5190 or gucciardofamilylaw.com.
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