I have a friend going through a divorce. Her husband has played the child abuse card by accusing her of not getting her child “needed” medical care since their separation. Actually, his accusations run the gamut from ignoring the child’s medical needs to not feeding the child a nutritional diet. She has been falsely accused of child abuse!
He knows doing this is going to muddy the waters, cast doubts on her as a fit mother, string out the divorce process and put her in a one-down position of having to defend herself against his accusations.
His accusations are in the hands of the court and as such, they can’t be ignored. And my friend has gone off the deep end emotionally instead of using logic to defend herself and prove him wrong.
She is constantly texting and engaging in conflict with her soon-to-be ex. She went to the courthouse insisting she be able to speak to the judge in order to clear her name. She cursed at the guy from child protective services that investigated the accusations. And she has discussed the issue with her children in great detail.
He has made accusations that make her look irrational and she is responding to those accusations by being irrational. She is helping him prove his point and endangering her relationship with her children in the process.
Whether an ex uses the court to make accusations or just spouts his mouth off to anyone who will listen, the last thing you want to do is give them ammunition to use against you. The first thing you want to do is respond to the situation in a rational manner. One that will quickly show them for who they are…liars.
I’ve given my friend 3 pieces of advice to use since being accused of child abuse:
- Hire an attorney or talk to the attorney she already has.
- Stay away from him until the evidentiary hearing, one in which she will be able to defend herself against his allegations.
- Do NOT engage in conflict with him.
She is failing miserably at all three.
Because of him, she has lost time with her children, had to move from the marital home and is dealing with overwhelming emotions. I can understand the difficulty involved in accepting less contact with her children and removing herself from his family home. Both are devastating things to live with if they are forced upon you. I get that!
But, she is letting her emotions drive every decision she makes and in doing so putting her relationship with her children and her financial future in jeopardy. I fear she will walk away from her divorce with very limited time with her children and losing most of what she has worked for during their 14 years of marriage.
If you find yourself in a situation similar to my friend, you can protect yourself against accusations of child abuse by doing the following:
If you don’t have an attorney, hire an attorney. One who can respond to the courts and defend you against such accusations.
Once false allegations of abuse are filed against you, refuse to be alone with the person making the accusations. Please take this seriously! If someone has accused you of abuse, the last thing you want to give that person is another opportunity to make more accusations. If you have to be around that person ALWAYS have a third party/witness with you.
Do not engage in conflict with your accuser. Keep any communication you have with the person civil. Be constrained and aware of everything you say in emails, texts, on their Facebook Twitter account. Remember, everything you say can be “held against” you. When possible, if you have children keep all communication to child-related issues.
Knowing that someone has accused you of something you didn’t do is infuriating. It is normal to want to defend yourself and lash out at your accuser. In a divorce situation, you can’t do what feels “normal.” Protecting yourself legally is as simple as following the advice above.