Many high-conflict divorce and custody situations are rooted solely in one’s desire to completely control their target. The most effective way to accomplish this is by interfering in the targeted parent’s relationship with the children and vice-versa. The harder you fight for your parental rights, the harder the controlling personality escalates. This escalation will very often lead to the false allegations of abuse against the children, the ex-partner, or both.
Further, it’s not all that unusual for a survivor of child abuse or a person who makes repeated false claims of having been abused themselves – to up the ante to false allegations of child abuse. It is the go-to chip in the battle over total control of the children. They are the sharpest weapon with which the high-conflict parent can cut their target to the core. That’s why it happens so frequently.
As with any situation rife with such pitfalls, the more prepared you are to deal with false allegations of abuse, the better possible outcome for you. That doesn’t mean you won’t spend some time separated by force of law from your home and your children. You simply have to deal with that and forge ahead with your defense. Preparation, documentation, and witnesses are all key to convincing the court that the allegations are without merit. In addition to successfully defending yourself, you may gain the added benefit of demonstrating to the court that your ex-spouse is a liar, a perjurer, and will stop at nothing to separate you from the children.
Some key elements that will go a very long way towards helping your defense are quite simple, though some do take discipline.
#1 on the list is a daily diary or journal. If “during the day journaling” is impossible or otherwise inconvenient, do be sure to close out your day by spending time, every single day, to document your daily activities. Note where you were, the times you were there, who you saw or interacted with (even people behind counters and registers – get to know them by name), and any other pertinent details – for instance, if any specific place has security cameras. You must do this every single day, particularly if you believe in any way that you could eventually be the target of a false allegation of abuse.
- Cash. Stockpile whatever you can. Defending yourself against false allegations, especially if those allegations involve sexual abuse, is incredibly expensive.
- Cut-off contact with the accuser completely! Don’t try to reason, get an explanation, or otherwise believe that you can simply make this go away. You will almost always only hurt your case by making contact with your false accuser.
- Honor any restraining orders that will likely be put in place as a result of the false allegation. Even if the allegations are completely false, a violation of a restraining order will be treated the same way. Don’t believe for one second that because you’re innocent, violating a restraining order will be made to go away, either now or in the future.
- Choose an attorney with much experience dealing with false allegations of abuse. You want someone with very specific experience in these matters.
- Find a support group. A non-custodial parents group, a shared-parenting group, a father’s and children’s rights group, a divorced mother’s group. Too many people feel isolated and all alone in such matters. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are also often a wealth of resources and referrals to exceedingly helpful organizations.
Better prepared, better outcome. These are the words we work by and that we live by. We hope you do, too.