How Do False Allegations of Abuse Affect a Divorce or Child Custody Case?

Written by Jonathan Breeden

Marriage is seen as a binding contract in the eyes of the law; however, to end this union, you either need to give a reason for divorce or file for a no-fault separation. Since North Carolina allows for both types of divorce, abuse and other forms of marital misconduct can impact the terms and conditions of family cases. Unfortunately, sometimes divorces become contentious and one party may use false accusations out of spite or to gain an upper hand. If you are being falsely accused of domestic abuse, either against your significant other or your children, you may be worried about how your rights will be affected.

North Carolina divorce lawyer Jonathan Breeden understands how devastating accusations of abuse can be. With his help, you may be able to prove that you did not engage in any form of marital misconduct. If need be, he can even launch an independent investigation to protect your marital and parental rights.

To find out how you can put this nightmare behind you, call (919) 661-4970 today.

How Divorce is Affected

If you are getting divorced, abuse accusations could be devastating. If the court believes that abuse has taken place, you may be forced to pay for treatment of your spouse’s injuries. You could be burdened with covering medical bills, counseling sessions, and several other costs. Being accused of domestic abuse could also result in a restraining order, otherwise known as a protective order. This court ordered document may heavily restrict your interactions with your spouse.

Abuse of any kind may also be considered when property division is being determined. A case in which a spouse is repeatedly abused, for example, may result in an unequal distribution of assets; the victimized spouse may receive most of the marital property. False accusations of abuse can also mean being forced to participate in intervention activities, such as therapy or anger management classes.

How Child Custody is Affected

When determining who will receive custody, the court tries to determine who will be able to best provide for the child’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. If you are accused of being violent towards your spouse or your children, your parental rights may be in jeopardy. You may lose primary custody, meaning your children will not live with you. You might also be granted partial custody, meaning you will only be allowed to visit with your children for a few days each week. In cases of domestic abuse, the courts may only allow visits that are supervised by a government agency.

False abuse accusations can also lead to permanent termination of parental rights. This means that you would lose the ability to support and interact with your children. Unlike an order of partial custody or supervised visitation, this cannot be undone in the future.

Proving that Abuse Did Not Occur

With the help of a skilled attorney, you can prove that the allegations against you are false. In any case of abuse, one piece of evidence that is often pointed to is a record of contacting police. Among other things, this can show that there have been several instances of abuse. Pointing to a lack of law enforcement involvement can be critical protecting your rights in court. You may also be able to point to your spouse’s lack of action; if they were being abused, why did they not leave or seek help sooner?

It might also be the case that your spouse is complaining about behavior that does not constitute abuse. If they are trying to persecute you for snide remarks or an unloving attitude, it is possible to show that the claims are groundless. According to state law, domestic violence can include homicide, threats, sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of aggressive or violent behavior. Being unhappy with the marriage or being upset with a spouse’s irresponsible behavior does not justify allegations of abuse.

Contact Breeden Law Office Today

If you are accused of abusive tendencies, you need to act quickly so your divorce or child custody case is not negatively affected. At Breeden Law Office, experienced North Carolina family lawyer Jonathan Breeden will work tirelessly so you are not taken advantage of and your rights are protected.

To clear your name in court, call (919) 661-4970 for a free consultation.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden