Your family makes up your closest relationships, and relationships inevitably have their ups and downs. The stress of daily life, financial concerns, family responsibilities, and other issues can get to the best of us. Sometimes, the difficulties inherent to familial relationships are so overwhelming that they spill over into vengeful retaliation that can have grave consequences. One such example is when a spouse falsely accuses another of family violence. A divorce involving a child custody dispute can be an especially good catalyst for such an accusation. If you find yourself facing false family violence charges, it is essential that you understand your rights and find the best path forward.
Why False Accusations?
If you are going through a contentious divorce, a fierce custody battle, or another kind of familial low point, you know exactly how stressful it is. In fact, it is difficult to overestimate exactly how painful such circumstances can be. People react to stress in different ways, and in the process, some people lose sight of what is right and what is wrong – and even of what is real and what is not. In other words, if your spouse decides that the ends justify the means, he or she might feel justified in bringing false allegations of violent conduct. For example, if it means the difference between becoming the primary custodial parent and not, your spouse could let his or her moral code lapse. Further, some people convince themselves that their divorcing spouse is a threat when that is not actually the case. Whatever the reason for the false charges, it is important to recognize that they are serious charges that should be taken extremely seriously.
Facing False Accusations
Nearly any family member or loved one can levy false accusations of domestic violence – even if they have no real proof to substantiate their claim. Further, such allegations can be brought quite easily by:
- Calling the police
- Filing a false report with the court
- Saying something to one’s lawyer or the judge during a legal proceeding
Once such an accusation is made – regardless of whether it is substantiated – the judge involved is likely to issue an emergency protection order. Such an order usually means that you will need to leave your family home (if you are still residing there with your accuser) and avoid all contact with that person. The impact of having such an order issued against you can have a significant effect on your ongoing divorce and/or custody proceedings, and a domestic violence conviction can upend your future.