All too often I see controlling spouses resort to making false allegations against spouses in order to gain advantages in child custody cases. I wish this were not true, but it happens. False allegations cause enormous stress, unnecessary attorney’s fees, waste court’s time and may impact a parent’s relationship with their child. This article discusses how to defend and fight back against false allegations in Florida child custody cases.
Depending on your situation and the statements made by your ex, the Judge will have to consider the statements and either believe the statements and act accordingly, don’t believe the statements and ignore the statements, or sanction the parent making the false allegations . I have seen parents lie in court about the other parent. From falsely alleging that the other parent drinks alcohol excessively, to using drugs, to leaving a child unattended.
You need to know how to deal with serious false allegations without worsening the impact. If you do not have an attorney at the time your ex makes these false allegations against you, whether to you, another person, on Facebook, in Court, at depositions, the time to get a lawyer is now. Remember, if your ex is accusing you of such actions or inactions, a judge will need to decide who is telling the truth. Your lawyer will need time to prepare.
Below are some tips to follow if your ex has lobbed false accusations against you to gain an advantage in a custody case:
- Be careful what you text to your ex. You must understand that every word you text may be read by a judge in court. Do not react to false allegations in text messages with threats or obscenities. Oftentimes, this may exacerbate the situation. It is better that you do not respond to these accusations by text, hire an attorney, and have that attorney respond.
- Keep journals or diaries of the dates and times you have picked up your child(ren) if your ex accuses you of not abiding by an agreed to timesharing schedule.
- Print or screen shot and email important text messages between You and your ex. There have been occasions where clients’ phones have been wiped out and all text messages deleted by the other spouse who had the password to the account. You may need these text messages at some point in the case to dispute false allegations made against you.
- Enjoy your time with your children, do not ask about the children about the other parent, and take lots of videos and photographs. There have been many cases where parents falsely allege that their children are miserable when with the other parent. The reality is that the accusing parent probably makes these children miserable and stressed out when they return to them, because they drill their children for information about the other parent. Showing photographs of a parent with their happy children may be important and helpful in court.
- Work with and meet with your lawyer when you receive false allegations from your ex. In custody matters, it does not matter if what is said about you is true or not, the reality is it matters if the court believes if it is true. Lawyers are trained on how to combat lies and false allegations. The tools include requests to produce, interrogatories, requests for admissions, depositions and preparing for cross examination in court. Lawyers also will work with you in other ways to combat such false allegations, such as meeting, interviewing and deposing witnesses.
If you have been falsely accused by your child’s other, you must understand your rights and the steps to take to protect yourself and prepare for court. It is important that you hire an attorney to build a strong case to disprove the allegations made against you and to prepare you to testify before a judge.
Do not allow false allegations to change your relationship with your child. Call our Florida divorce attorney, Tim Nies, of Van Riper and Nies Attorneys, at 800-650-1243. Van Riper and Nies Attorneys, P.A. maintains offices in West Palm Beach, Stuart, Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach, Florida. You may also find useful information on divorce and family law at DivorceWarriors Instagram page.