Parents often make frivolous allegations of child abuse during a divorce. Why? Principally, it’s to gain an upper hand in a custody fight. Under Texas law, both parents should be involved in their children’s lives after a divorce. But if a parent committed domestic violence, they might not get custody at all, and their visitation can be severely restricted.
At Tad Nelson & Associates, we’ve seen some pretty vague accusations of child abuse tossed about in family law court. When children are very young, it’s easy for one parent to make something up because the child can’t set the record straight. Although you might be angry or afraid, you can fight back against false allegations. Contact a Galveston family law attorney to discuss what steps you should take.
Evidence of Abuse
A parent alleging abuse or violence needs to back up their claim with evidence. If the alleged abuse happened years ago, then there might not be anything other than one parent’s memories of what happened. Indeed, many allegations of abuse during a divorce are “he said, she said” situations.
Sometimes, the other parent has a sibling or close family friend who comes forward claiming to have witnessed the abuse. This testimony is very convenient. Your lawyer might need to investigate this person, who probably is biased in favor of your ex. Never underestimate the power of people to lie during divorce, especially to help out a friend.
Many people are overwhelmed with the divorce and don’t know how to fight back against false allegations of abuse. Give us a call. We can investigate witnesses and find evidence the abuse didn’t happen.
Cooperation with an Investigation is Hard—But Necessary
Many of our clients are investigated for alleged abuse by Child Protective Services (CPS). A judge might also order that the child meet with a psychologist to uncover evidence of abuse. Your divorce judge will ultimately need to determine if there is enough evidence of child abuse.
You will only harm your case if you don’t cooperate. Please contact a Galveston family law attorney if you have questions. We can also help guide you through the process and gather evidence for your case.
Penalties for False Allegations in Texas
Under Texas Family Code § 261.107, it is a state jail felony to make a false report of child abuse if the intent is to deceive. If a person has made a false allegation before, then the charges are for a third-degree felony.
If your ex has lied and you can convince the judge of that fact, your case is much stronger. The judge might deny your ex custody or put severe limits on visitation. You might also improve your odds of receiving a larger share of community property.
We aren’t afraid to seek sanctions if your ex is making things up. However, the last thing you should do is simply lie down and fail to defend yourself.
We’ll Fight for Your Reputation and Family
Family law attorney Tad Nelson has handled many divorce cases. He can meet for a consultation to discuss the accusations against you if you contact us today.