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Responding to Domestic Abuse Accusations During Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Responding to Domestic Abuse Accusations During DivorceYour spouse can drop a figurative bomb on the divorce process by accusing you of domestic violence or child abuse. Besides the potential criminal ramifications, the accusation may temporarily prevent you from seeing your children. The restriction can become permanent if the investigation substantiates the accusation. Unfortunately, some spouses will make false accusations of domestic violence or abuse, knowing that it will put the accused at a disadvantage. You were previously concerned about getting a fair share of the allocation of parental responsibilities, but you are now fighting to have any access to your children. When your spouse accuses you of domestic abuse, your divorce attorney can create a strategy to contest the accusation:

  1. Comply with Court Orders: The court may immediately respond to your spouse’s domestic abuse accusation by granting a temporary order of protection, prohibiting contact with your spouse and children. You may feel defiant towards the order if the accusation is false, but it is important to cooperate and contest it legally. You may be arrested for violating the order, which your spouse will use against you during the divorce.
  2. Understand Your Past Actions: Before accusing your spouse of lying, you should consider whether your past behavior qualifies as domestic abuse. Verbal harassment, intimidation, and willful neglect are all forms of abuse, though they may not have the same legal consequences as physical abuse. If you have been emotionally abusive in the past, agreeing to seek counseling may help you maintain parental rights.
  3. Build a Defense: As the accuser, your spouse must show that the domestic abuse claim is legitimate. However, the burden of proof when deciding parental responsibilities in a civil divorce case is not as strict as when you are facing criminal charges. Thus, you will need to gather evidence showing that you are not abusive by nature or that your spouse has a motive to lie. Collect correspondences and bring in witnesses that attest to both your and your spouse's character.
  4. Keep Your Cool: False accusations of domestic abuse will make you angry because they are deeply personal to you and manipulative by your spouse. However, you should refrain from emotional outbursts or threats against your spouse, whether in court or in private. By retaliating, you are helping your spouse by demonstrating your abusive behavior. You must remain calm while still adamant that the accusations are false.

Your Parental Rights

When a divorce court believes you are a danger to your children, it can deny you parenting time or limit you to supervised visits. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you disprove false domestic abuse allegations in divorce court. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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