False Accusations of Child Abuse
Falsely accusing your former spouse of abuse, whether domestic or child abuse, is a common tactic in the Family Court System. Don't be surprised if your ex throws this one at you. Given the current political and social attitude towards child abusers. It has become a witch hunt to eradicate these animals from our society. Because you are going through a divorce the chances that this tactic will be used are very good. The reason is simple: "If you are accused of being an abuser, then the kids will go to mom and you will pay through the nose to support her."
Approximately 28 States carry penalties in their civil child protection laws for any person who willfully or intentionally makes a report of child abuse or neglect that the reporter knows to be false. In New York, Ohio, and the Virgin Islands, making false reports of child maltreatment is made illegal in criminal sections of State code.
Twenty States and the Virgin Islands classify false reporting as a misdemeanor or similar charge. In Florida, Tennessee, and Texas, false reporting is a felony, while in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Virginia, second or subsequent offenses are upgraded to felonies. In Michigan, false reporting can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the seriousness of the alleged abuse in the report. No criminal penalties are imposed in California, Maine, Montana, Minnesota, and Nebraska; however, immunity from civil or criminal action that is provided to reporters of abuse or neglect is not extended to those who make a false report.
Eleven States and the Virgin Islands specify the penalties for making a false report. Upon conviction, the reporter can face jail terms ranging from 30 days to 5 years or fines ranging from $200 to $5,000. Florida imposes the most severe penalties: In addition to a court sentence of 5 years and $5,000, the Department of Children and Family Services may fine the reporter up to $10,000. In six States the reporter may be civilly liable for any damages caused by the report.
You should realize the impact that child abuse allegations, and/or charges, may have on your life. As a suspect in an abuse case, you may:
Defending yourself against an accusation of this nature requires an experience attorney with knowledge of the procedures involved in these cases.
If you have been falsely accused give us a call for a FREE consultation: (800) 887.7071