Divorce is a hugely emotional experience. Bitterness and anger are prominent feelings alongside sadness and regret. It is good to keep these emotions in check and balanced so you can think logically and respond accordingly. But sometimes, one spouse loses it and begins the unthinkable: lying – and not just lying, but lying about you. This occurs a lot when it comes to children and disputes over custody. One parent may lie about the other parent and accuse the parent of abuse It could be a lie about physical abuse, emotional abuse, or even sexual abuse. Regardless of which one, the impact is the same: your good name is tarnished and your ability to have custody is now in question. What do you do?
Your first instinct may be to hit back and accuse the other parent of something, but don't. Don't focus on the injustice of the accusation and the revenge you want; focus on salvaging your reputation and shining a light on the truth.
In the Chicago metro area, here's what you should actually do under these circumstances.
Discuss the accusations with a family law attorney.
An experienced attorney has probably had many of these cases and understands how to handle them. At Dolci & Weiland, we have represented clients who have been falsely accused. It is important to act immediately because courts take these claims very seriously.
We will discuss the accusations with you. The legal repercussions of the claims and how to move forward specifically to prevent any harm.
Also, you should know that the parent who made the false accusations – if proven false or unwarranted – risks legal repercussions herself and challenges to the custody of the children.
Gather evidence of your innocence.
After discussing your case with an experienced and resourceful family law attorney, you want to gather any evidence. Your attorney will work with you in this regard. Depositions of any witnesses may be necessary, and this includes the parent who made the accusations.
Your attorney will look for inconsistencies in the witnesses' testimony along with other valid information and evidence that proves your innocence.
Request a formal investigation.
Your attorney may also advise you to request an internal child custody investigation. This may sound scary, and indeed it is, but if you are innocent, you should have no worries. Work with the child protective agency when it comes to conducting the investigation, do not evade or otherwise obstruct the investigation.
Your attorney, of course, will be there with you throughout it all and help guide you. And rest assured that you won't be the only one investigated, but the accusing parent may also be investigated. Again, if it is found that she or he lied intentionally to benefit in a child custody matter, then that parent will suffer consequences.