During a bitter custody battle between antagonistic divorcing parents, there can be disturbing accusations of child sexual abuse made by one parent against the other. When you are falsely charged with sexual assault on a child, the fallout can be serious for you.
The consequences can encompass public humiliation, costly legal fees, permanent loss of your reputation and professional standing, a rift among your family members and deep psychological scars that may never heal. Whatever the cause might be for the allegations against you — or whether you live in Florida or elsewhere — you should know what to do in order to defend yourself.
If such a situation does arise during a child custody case, the judge realizes that untrue allegations can sometimes be made because tensions are high. Any child abuse claims will be thoroughly looked into by the court.
Dealing with a false allegation of child sexual abuse
- There will probably be an investigation involving experts such as medical and psychological professionals and possibly people from family protective services. Even if the investigative process is protracted, uncomfortable and intrusive, the best strategy is to cooperate and respond fully to the questions that are put to you.
- Marshal as much evidence as you can to refute the allegations. You’ll want to prove your character and integrity. Obtain statements from people who know you well and are supportive of you like relatives, colleagues or neighbors. Those statements will bolster your contention that you are a responsible, caring and non-abusive parent.
- If a judge decides that the accusation of child abuse was baseless, he or she may order the parent who made the accusation pay the court costs of the other parent.
If you find yourself in a situation involving divorce and child abuse allegations, an experienced attorney is a good source of information.