All too often, spouses in the heat of a contentious divorce make false accusations to strengthen their positions. When false claims pertain to child abuse or other forms of family violence, everyone in the family loses:
- Accused parents face a system of guilty until proven innocent, often destroying their reputations permanently.
- The children potentially face removal from their home.
- Accusers making false claims can face criminal misdemeanor
Our Minneapolis custody attorneys are strong advocates for anyone facing any form of abuse within their homes. However, we also recognize the extreme family harm presented by false allegations. When anyone faces even the possibility of these claims against them, they need to take quick action to protect the entire family.
The Falsely-Accused Need Immediate Legal Support
It is not uncommon for spouses to threaten to make criminal allegations when things are not going their way in divorce negotiations. Anyone on the receiving end of such threats must not make the mistake of taking them lightly. When police hear accusations of family violence, they have to err on the side of caution to protect potential victims. The most loving parent may face immediate arrest in cases like these.
In the best circumstances, parents can obtain legal support before anticipated false claims go to the police. Our attorneys have significant experience working with our clients and their spouses to dispel the accusations before they become criminal cases. Of course, in the event of arrest — or even contact from Child Protective Services — we recommend that our clients answer questions only when an attorney is present.
The Interests of the Children Add Weight to Criminal Accusations
Criminal accusations against parents do not automatically put divorce cases on hold (known as a stay). In other words, even parents who may eventually be found not guilty in criminal court are seen by the divorce courts as potential threats to the children. Since state law puts primary importance on the best interests of the children, the courts typically base their custody decisions in favor of the parent who most clearly poses no risk to the children’s safety.
Clearly, the children face significant harm in many ways from these situations. First, they no longer have regular contact and support from a loving parent who is wrongfully accused of a crime. If the accusing parent is found guilty of making false accusations, however, the children might be removed from their family home for as long as it takes to sort out all details of the case.
Custody Decisions Can Benefit the Entire Family
The divorce settlement decisions pertaining to child custody are seldom all-or-nothing. Our Minneapolis custody lawyers regularly help parents work out an agreement that provides ample time for all family members to be together while ensuring both parents participate equitably in child-related decisions. Call us at (763) 783-5146 or use our convenient contact form to learn how we can help parents use a cooperative spirit to make the right choices for the family.