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False Filings of Domestic Abuse for Child Custody Leverage

Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah Aug. 3, 2023

Issues involving the custody of minor children are complicated and often contentious. After all, a child custody order determines which parent will spend what time and bear what financial responsibilities for shared children. Child custody is inexorably linked to the child support arrangement as well.  

Beyond what is simply best for the children, a parent can have other motivations for making child custody a contentious issue. They may be driven by anger, resentment, jealousy, narcissism, and a general desire to punish the other parent. Such motivations can even lead the malicious parent to make false domestic abuse allegations in an attempt to sway the courts towards themselves in issues of child custody and support agreements.  

Domestic abuse accusations are awful when they’re true. When they’re false, the situation is still awful, but in a very different way. At The Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah, I help parents falsely accused of domestic abuse prove their innocence in Sacramento, California, and Alameda, Placer, Yolo, San Joaquin, El Dorado, and Solano counties.

I also represent those who have suffered domestic abuse and turned to the law for help, only to be accused of lying under oath. Contact me today to enlist compassionate and skilled legal representation.   

What Are the Consequences of a Domestic Abuse Claim? 

Make no mistake. The consequences someone suffers if they are accused of domestic abuse or accused of lying about it during a divorce or child custody proceeding will be dire. You should never face them without having a family law attorney by your side. There is simply too much at stake, and there are always two sides to every story. 

It takes little for someone to get the court to issue a Protection from Abuse order. Accusers need little more than their accusation to obtain an emergency order because the court will more often than not err on the side of caution in an attempt to protect someone who is potentially being abused. Moreover, the accused will not be able to present their defense until the court schedules a hearing to make the order more permanent.  

The ramifications of even an emergency order are serious. Defendants will be barred from their homes and from seeing their children if they reside with the accuser. They will not be able to have any contact with the other parent or the children so long as the order is in effect. If the defendant violates the order, they risk getting arrested and facing criminal charges. 

Obtaining a protection order can seem to be a violation of a person’s constitutional right to a fair trial and to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The accused can lose their right to own a weapon, lose their job, lose their home, and lose their parental rights.  

Conversely, the nature of someone’s ability to make allegations of domestic abuse somewhat easily also gives a truthfully accused person to counter the plaintiff’s accusations, and claim they’re making a false allegation for leverage in a family law matter.  

For those who truly are victims of domestic abuse, their family’s safety is placed in jeopardy. If the defendant proves the plaintiff has made false allegations to leverage child custody, the plaintiff will face severe consequences.  

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Abuse?

If you have been falsely accused of domestic abuse, fight back. An experienced lawyer can help you collect evidence refuting the allegations, prepare witnesses, and build and present your defense at trial. Moreover, your attorney will ensure that in a process that seems to be skewed against you, your rights and interests are protected.  

The burden of proof in a domestic abuse hearing rests with your accuser. Their case may still rely heavily on their word against yours, but your attorney will look for contrary evidence, holes in the accuser’s case, and inconsistencies in their testimony.  

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Accused of Using a Domestic Abuse Claim for Leverage?

If you have been accused of making a false claim of domestic abuse as leverage in a child custody matter, you need to fight back as well. Remember that any claims you make are made under oath. Proof that you lied, for whatever reason, places you in legal jeopardy.  

You are probably wondering how California courts handle false abuse allegations in custody cases. Under state law, if the court determines someone knowingly made false or misleading allegations of domestic abuse, the court may impose fines to compensate the defendant for costs incurred in their defense, including attorney’s fees and court costs. Moreover, the accuser’s child custody and visitation rights may be negatively impacted.  

Providing Strong Representation for the Falsely Accused

The truth rarely wins out on its own, but it may prevail if you are represented by an aggressive and knowledgeable family law attorney. If you have been falsely accused of domestic abuse or have been accused of leveling false accusations of abuse, I can help.  

Call The Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah in Los Angeles, California, and let me help illuminate the truth and protect your child’s best interests.