You are getting divorced. You are not on great terms with your spouse, but you assume that things will at least be civil during the divorce process. You assume that you both have your children’s best interests at heart. And then it happens: Your spouse levels a false, fabricated, and horrific lie about your treatment, and perhaps abuse, of the kids in a desperate attempt to gain some kind of advantage in the upcoming custody battle.
How do you deal with these kinds of lies? Will the judge actually listen to them?
Do Not Panic
The first thing to do is not panic. These kinds of baseless allegations are unfortunately common in family law cases. And, they are just allegations—a judge will not take them as true, just on your ex’s word.
In most cases, these kinds of falsities are just power plays by the other side—intimidation tactics to get you to concede to something your spouse wants, or to make you look bad in front of the judge. Because the allegation is false, your spouse knows that there is no way to prove them.
Proving-or Disproving-the Allegations
In many cases, false allegations are proven by the lack of any substantiating evidence. For example, if you were abusing the kids, as your spouse alleges, where was your spouse when this was going on? Where were the emails asking you to stop? Did your spouse contact the authorities?
If you did what he or she is saying you did to or with the children, your spouse could have and should have done something about it. But he or she did not because the allegations are completely false.
Experts and Witnesses
Experts are often called in to evaluate children. Experts know what children who are exploited do or say, and how they act. Experts can even tell when a child may be lying, in order to protect a parent from something the parent did. An expert often can quickly surmise that the allegations against you are false.
The same is true with the child’s physicians. If a child goes to a physician regularly, doctors often can identify the signs of physical or emotional abuse (or the lack thereof). The same is often true of teachers, who observe behavior in class that may be indicative of abuse.
A good question to ask is how the child is doing in his or her life. Is she doing well in school and in extra curriculars? Does she have friends and an active social life?
Children who are truly abused or neglected often have problems in these areas. Especially with younger kids, success in academics and social endeavors tends to undermine any allegation that the child is being abused.
Contact our New Jersey Real Estate attorneys at The Law Office of Agnes Rybar LLC for help in your child custody battle and in your divorce.