In highly contentious child custody battles, matters can escalate quickly and both parties are bound to feel the pressure. When backed into a corner, some parents may believe that accusing the other of child abuse will shift the dynamics of the case, and increase his or her chance of winning custody. But this isn't a surefire strategy.
In New Jersey, judges tend to take a “better safe than sorry approach” when making decisions regarding a child's safety. However, judges do not prefer to restrict parental rights unless the circumstances unequivocally call for it. Due to high stakes in child custody cases, it's also likely not the first time judges have heard false allegations of abuse. All cases involving allegations of this nature will be thoroughly investigated by the courts.
If you're the one facing the false allegations, it's imperative you respond appropriately. You should also know your rights in this situation.
Understand Why You're Being Falsely Accused
Sometimes it may be hard to rationalize why your ex would lie on you. Maybe they're so angry about the split that they're using your child as a pawn to hurt you. The other parent might be desperate and feel that without the help of false allegations they won't win custody.
Regardless, if these accusations are truly false, you'll be able to disprove these allegations with the help of experienced legal counsel.
Collect Your Own Evidence
The best way to defend yourself against false allegations is to gather evidence that disproves these claims. Because you know that you're innocent, it may feel frustrating and seem counterproductive to find proof that you didn't do what your ex claimed you did - but it's completely necessary in these situations. The court's duty is to protect children at all costs, so if allegations are involved they won't be taken lightly. So, it'd be best to focus on proving your fitness as a parent, rather than how unfair the situation is.
The type of evidence you'll need depends on the allegations your ex made. For instance, if your ex claims that you always forget to pick up your child from daycare, you can have a childcare professional vouch for you in court that you were always there. Perhaps your ex claims that you have a history of abusing your child. You can present the court with evidence of a clean record, medical evaluations, and other evidence that debunks this claim.
Get the Help of an Attorney
Each child custody case is unique. To understand how you can overcome false allegations in your case, you should discuss the specifics with a seasoned legal professional. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience helping parents disprove false allegations, highlight their contributions, and protect their parental rights. He understands the stakes of these cases and can help you approach your situation in a way that maximizes your chances of success. For a consultation, contact the Lento Law Firm today online or by phone at 888-535-3686.