For many parents engaged in a bitter custody battle, one of the biggest fears is being accused of child abuse by the other parent. Victims of false allegations often experience shock and fear as they face an investigation and potential removal of their children. By taking the following action steps, falsely accused parents can put this nightmare behind them as quickly as possible.
Seek Legal Assistance Immediately
The consequences of being accused of child abuse or neglect are serious. As the safety of children is always the foremost concern, there is a real possibility one’s children may be removed from the accused’s custody once an allegation is made. Judges typically suspend all visitation during this time. Only when an investigation fails to uncover evidence of abuse will the falsely accused parent’s visitation and custody rights be reinstated.
Being separated from one’s child is just the beginning of the nightmare for many falsely accused individuals. Child abuse convictions, especially those involving allegations of sexual abuse, will haunt an individual for the rest of his or her life. A conviction of child sexual abuse results in significant jail time, mandatory reporting, and significant fines. Finding employment becomes extremely difficult with a child sexual abuse conviction on one’s record.
To avoid any of these consequences, individuals falsely accused of child abuse should immediately contact an experienced family law attorney who can protect their rights during any DCPP investigation. Attempting to navigate this complex area of family law without the assistance of an experienced family law attorney can be disastrous for the accused and his or her children.
Cooperate with the Investigation
By willingly cooperating with those investigating the false claims, a falsely accused parent can save time and money in resolving the matter. Complying with court orders is an important part of defending the false accusations. As part of the investigative process, both the accused and the children may be required to submit to medical or mental health examinations.
Be careful not to admit anything that can be used as evidence of poor parenting. Accused parents have the right to have their attorney present during any interview with the police or social services agency. As the investigation continues, individuals should gather their own evidence to disprove the allegations. This can include favorable witness statements, photographs, school reports, hospital records, and doctor observations.
Being falsely accused of child abuse can bring out the worst in individuals. Be sure to control feelings of anger especially around the children. Directing one’s rage over the injustice of the situation of an ex-spouse, his or her lawyer, the children, or law enforcement will do nothing but hurt your case. Any evidence of losing control ultimately can be used as evidence regardless of whether the anger is justified.
Mendham Family Law Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Represent Parents in Custody Dispute Matters Throughout New Jersey
If you have been falsely accused of child abuse by an ex-partner or ex-spouse, you are not alone. The dedicated family law lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. will aggressively fight to clear your name. Our experienced family law litigators understand the importance of protecting the relationship between parent and child and will not stop until all your parenting rights are restored. With offices conveniently located in Somerville and Morristown, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains. To schedule a free initial consultation with a Mendham family law lawyer today, call us at 908-575-9777 or submit an online inquiry form.