Albany Family Law Blog

Fighting a false child abuse accusation in a custody dispute

Posted by Joanne P. Monagan, Esq. | May 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

For most parents, the thought of being cut off from their child is unbearable. In the middle of a brutal child custody battle, a desperate parent may accuse the other parent of child abuse to gain an advantage. Family courts take abuse claims seriously, so it will be necessary for the victim of the accusation to take immediate action.

How child abuse accusations may affect custody

An abusive parent may still receive custody rights if the judge determines that is best for the child. After receiving a complaint, the court will investigate the child abuse claim to determine the severity of the abuse and the level of danger toward the child.

If the court determines that one parent is abusive, they may order supervised visits, remove custody entirely, or impose other restrictions. However, if the claims are false, the accuser may expect the opposite effect. The court may then limit the accuser's parenting time and refrain from awarding them custody.

Accused parents need to act quickly

Court proceedings can take a long time, and the other parent may continue pushing false claims, making it more difficult to fight back. While it is understandable that the accused parent would be frustrated, they should focus on gathering evidence to disprove the claim rather than retaliating.

Evidence can include documentation such as emails, text messages, recordings, and testimony from professionals that can contradict the accuser's claim. Collecting any information on the other parent's motivations can also help. Accused parents may consider developing a timeline to show what events led to the false accusation and uncover what advantage the other parent is trying to achieve.

Emails, texts, recordings, and expert witness testimonies are all valid forms of proof that may be used to refute an accuser's claims. Accused parents could benefit from creating a timeline to demonstrate the chain of events that led to the false accusation and reveal the other parent's motivations.

The best way to disprove a false accusation of violence is to remain level-headed and proactive while gathering evidence. Because of the seriousness of the accusation, it may be worthwhile to seek legal counsel to help gather evidence and build a strong defense.

About the Author

Joanne P. Monagan, Esq.

Managing Attorney


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