As many parents going through a child custody battle know, the court bases child custody decisions (now referred to as parenting time and parental responsibilities) on what is in a child’s best interest, not on what is in either of the parents’ best interests. As such, an abusive parent’s chances of receiving custody are exceedingly slim.
Due to the enormous pressure and tension that parents are put under during custody disputes, sometimes they will go to great lengths to receive a beneficial court decision, and this includes telling lies about the other parent. Examples of these fabrications may merely be that the other party is a lousy parent because he or she is absent minded or that he or she is not as invested in the child as the other parent because he or she frequently misses the child’s soccer games. Or, the lies may be more damaging, such as alleging that the other parent is physically or emotionally abusive towards the child.
False Allegations of Child Abuse Are More Common than You May Think, Especially During Custody Disputes
There are very few allegations of sexual assault that are false or baseless in nature. In fact, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, false accusations only account for between 2 to 10 percent of all reported cases of sexual assault in the United States. However, when it comes to allegations of child abuse, there may be much more room for skepticism.
One study found that in roughly half of their studied cases, child abuse was substantiated. However, in the other half the abuse was unsubstantiated. Unsubstantiated evidence for child abuse is providing “insufficient evidence to determine whether or not crime occurred,” according to a study titled “Unfounded cases and false reports: A complex problem.” What this means is that courts may be prone to believing the accuser if there is sufficient evidence that child abuse occurred, while the court may not take into consideration alleged abuse if it is unsubstantiated.
Fighting Back Against False Allegations By Working With an Illinois Attorney
For parents who are going through divorce and have been falsely accused of child abuse, it can seem like the world is unraveling around them. How can you prove that the abuse did not happen? After all, it is impossible to prove a negative. Fortunately, the burden of proof should rest with the accuser, not the accused. This does not always happen, however, and your chances of being railroaded by the other parent increases if you remain legally unrepresented.
With the guidance of an experienced child custody and divorce lawyer, you can fight these wrongful allegations and seek your right to parenting your child. Contact the DuPage County child custody attorneys of Momkus McCluskey LLC today for assistance.