What Are My Options When My Ex Lies About Abuse?
In some cases, when a person is going through a divorce, it can bring out the worst sides of them. Feeling hurt and betrayed can even cause an individual to take an "ends justify the means" approach towards their ex during the case. Unfortunately, this tactic may involve one person making untruthful claims about the other being abusive. If you are on the receiving end of unfounded accusations, you need to know: What are my options if my ex lies about abuse?
Keep Calm and Call Your Attorney
Let's be honest-When someone tells an outright lie about you or maligns your reputation; it is infuriating. When the falsehood is about abuse, your first instinct may be to angrily confront your ex and demand that he or she set the record straight. While this is an understandable response, it's one that could create numerous problems for your case. If you become emotional and have a poor reaction towards your ex, you could end up appearing to be volatile, thereby adding credibility to their false accusations. This could even result in providing evidence for them to use against you in court. Take a deep breath, and contact your attorney rather than your ex. Stay calm, and you and your counsel can work through the issue together.
Truth is the Ultimate Defense
When a party levels a baseless claim at the other in a legal case, he or she is going to have to produce some kind of evidence to support its validity. If your ex has concocted a story about you threatening him or her or being violent and you have absolutely no history of this conduct, he or she is going to have a difficult time establishing its occurrence. Without medical records, police reports, other witnesses, or corroborating evidence, a court may be disinclined to accept your ex at his or her word. Especially if it appears that your ex has another motive for making the claim. Truth is the best defense. Your ex, on the other hand, has been deceptive with the court. If he or she is discovered in a lie about you, his or her credibility will be damaged throughout the remainder of the case.
Determine How Far Your Ex Has Gone
A false abuse accusation can have implications beyond the courtroom. If your ex has taken to spreading the lie on social media, at your workplace, in your community, or at your child’s school, the implications could be significant. Even when claims are unfounded, they can do irreparable damage to a person’s life. If you believe your ex has gone beyond the court proceedings, contact your attorney immediately. It may be necessary to seek injunctive relief with the court.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Recently, news broke that a Wisconsin emergency room doctor had been charged with physical abuse of his one-month-old foster daughter. Since that time, the man was asked to leave his job. His legal team has filed a Motion to Dismiss, refuting the allegation, claiming that the investigating state agency did not have credible evidence to support its finding. However the accused doctor is not currently allowed to see patients and must await the outcome of the hearing on the Motion to Dismiss. As this story demonstrates, the courts and society are going to err on the side of caution when it comes to child abuse and neglect allegations.
In the divorce context, it's an unfortunate reality that some parents will falsely accuse the other parent of abuse or neglect of their children. These parents may even file dishonest reports with child protective services agencies. Courts take these matters extremely seriously and, as indicated above, are not going to take any chances when a child may be at risk for abuse or neglect. For an accused parent, this may mean having to endure psychological evaluations, supervised visits, and other measures in order to ensure that a child is safe. However, if it is learned that a party made a false child abuse or neglect allegation, there are likely to be severe consequences for the accuser. They may even end up having limits imposed on their own placement and custody.
False abuse accusations are difficult, but there are steps you can take to manage them during your divorce or custody case. Attorney Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law has extensive family law experience in this area and can help you evaluate your circumstances and determine your next steps. Come in and let’s talk about your situation. Contact us today.