This will come as a sudden surprise. A quick text or phone call by your co-parent. You see that they are filing for an ex parte for emergency court orders. She is claiming that your child told the police that you hit him. You know it’s not true. Your child has been manipulated to lie to the police and now you may never see your child again. What do you do?
You’re going to have to deal with the court, child services, and the police investigation that follows. Here is how you handle each of them.
You have to gather every shred of evidence that exists regarding this. Most of the time these allegations will come as a retaliation to something else. For example if the accusing spouse forgets one day to pick up the child and you tell them that you are keeping the child for the weekend. If they respond with false allegations, then you know there’s something fishy. If the judge in family court sees this then he will not believe the other parent. Retaliation claims are common in false child abuse allegations.
The judge will typically set an evaluation in a couple of days. A therapist or mediator will interview the child alone and ask what happened. This is the opportunity for the child to finally tell the truth. A good mediator can spot when a child was lying and if the child changes her story. If they see that the child is being manipulated they will write a report saying that they don’t believe the child was ever abused.
One alternative is that the judge might order the child to be put in a foster home pending the evaluation. This is very serious, if you don’t have an attorney at this point you better get one. I have personally prevented a judge from ordering this by interjecting and arguing that it’s not in the best interest of the child. You don’t want your child taken from you. The other parent will hear of this and won’t want this either. Use this as an opportunity to reach common ground.
Child services will send an investigator to interview BOTH parents at their homes. Yes, even the accusing parent will be interviewed. Demeanor is everything when being interviewed by social services. You don’t want to be seen as a blamer. Calmly present your case to them. If you saved a copy of your court paperwork now is the time to give them one. If they like you and hate the accusing parent, you win.
Once the social services investigation is closed, the police will probably start their investigations. Sometimes the police lag with these investigations so don’t be surprised if they are the last ones to jump on it. They will usually start by sending a patrol cop to your house to get a statement. Do not ever give statements to the police. Tell them to speak with your attorney if you have one. Your attorney should already be on top of this by sending letters to the detective and talking to him on the phone.
Once the beat cop finishes his investigation it will eventually make its way up to the detective. Hopefully you sent in the evidence that the accusing spouse is a liar. Don’t be surprised if the detective refers the case to the district attorney, even if it’s a bad case. Having a lawyer here is so important because he can communicate with the police to try to prevent a filing.
How Can I Help?
If you have any more question about false child abuse allegations please contact me for a consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 626-227-1176 and ask to speak with me. Connect with me on Google+.
The Law Offices of Levon Kevorkian is a boutique firm located in Pasadena, California handling Divorce, Child Custody, and Criminal Defense cases. Our office is located at 1055 E. Colorado Blvd. Fifth Floor, Pasadena CA 91106.
Disclaimer: This blog post and other blog posts by me are not meant to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship will be formed by these blog posts.