How to Defend Yourself against False Allegations of Abuse during Divorce

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Act Quickly to Get Legal Help When You Have Been Accused

Domestic violence is a serious issue in New Jersey and throughout the country, and accusations of abuse should never be taken lightly. But with that being said, too many times spouses going through a divorce use false allegations as a weapon to get the upper hand in child custody proceedings or to get back at their spouse.

When an accused spouse does not have a strong defense, the spouse making the false claims may well gain custody of the children and otherwise turn the divorce proceedings to their advantage.

The consequences for people accused of domestic abuse during divorce can be very severe. Police may arrest them; they may face restraining orders, lose custody of children and potentially visitation rights, have their personal and professional reputations trashed, lose their job (especially if you have a job that requires some sort of professional licensure) and experience other highly detrimental repercussions. Even when the allegations are later proven false, the stigma of an abuse accusation can be long-lasting and emotionally devastating.

Reach Out to Our Experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyers

If you’ve been falsely accused of domestic abuse during your divorce, you should act quickly to get legal help. The sooner you get the advice of an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer, the better chance you have of defending against and attempting to disprove the accusations, there by mitigating the negative effects they may have on many aspects of your life.

Our attorneys understand the tactics some people use to get the advantage in divorce, and we are well-versed in handling cases involving false allegations of abuse. Even though a husband or a wife can be falsely accused, we know that men particularly are at a disadvantage when it comes to abuse accusations; and it is often the case that they are viewed as “guilty until proven innocent” in the eyes of public opinion, sometimes the Court, and even certain police.

Our law firm will persistently stand up for you to disprove any unfounded allegations during a divorce. Contact Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC in Bergen County for help today if you have been falsely accused. Call (201) 880-9770 to arrange a case case evaluation with a knowledgeable lawyer.

What Is Considered a False Allegation of Abuse?

Put simply, a false allegation of abuse is a claim of abuse that is untrue or mischaracterized to make it appear that you did something when in fact it was taken out of context Your spouse may lie about abuse to get an advantage in your divorce or in a custody dispute to make you look bad. Or they may even believe you did something abusive and that they can use it as ammunition in divorce to request more money or have a guilt trip over you, but technically your actions do not qualify as abuse under the law. It helps to know what is considered domestic abuse in the state so that you are prepared to dispute the false allegations.

Under New Jersey statute 2C:25-17, which is the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991, the following crimes are considered domestic abuse or violence when committed against a spouse:

  • Homicide
  • Assault
  • Terroristic threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal restraint
  • False imprisonment
  • Sexual assault
  • Criminal sexual assault
  • Lewdness
  • Criminal mischief
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Criminal trespass
  • Criminal coercion
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Cyber harassment
  • Contempt of a domestic violence order
  • Any other crime involving risk of serious bodily injury or death.

If allegations of a domestic violence crime were made against you by your spouse during divorce, you should take action right away to start building a defense and discuss strategy. Maybe the opposing party was in fact the aggressor; maybe the opposing party also committed an act of domestic violence and you want to file against her as well.

We can advise you on the types of evidence needed to disprove false accusations and represent you throughout your divorce proceedings and restraining order hearing if an order was filed against you. Call (201) 880-9770 to schedule a time to speak with us.

What Evidence Do I Need to Defend Myself Against False Allegations of Abuse During Divorce?

Suppose there is physical evidence that paints you positively or shows that your spouse has a history of dishonesty, in that case that may be presented to the court at a final restraining order hearing or during divorce proceedings. Physical evidence could include things such as text messages, emails, and voicemails.

You might also provide evidence that proves you were somewhere else when the alleged abuse happened, such as testimony from witnesses that you were with them, for example.

Witnesses who will attest that they have never seen you act violently or abusively toward your spouse, or any other person for that matter, can be valuable in defending against false allegations of abuse, as will a clean background with no record of past instances of abusive or criminal behavior.

Depending upon the situation, self-defense may be an option in defending against allegations, especially if there was an actual physical altercation between you and your spouse and especially if there are photos of injuries or by a police report.

What evidence may help your defense will depend upon all the specific circumstances in your case, including whether police were called to the scene, whether a temporary restraining order was filed against you and the evidence of alleged abuse that your spouse presents to the court, among other things.

Once a divorce lawyer from our firm examines all the facts and details of your situation, we can advise you as to what evidence will be beneficial in disproving the false allegations and assist you in gathering it.

Contact Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC, so we can begin building a case in your defense. Call us today at (201) 880-9770.

Can I Sue My Wife for False Allegations?

There is no simple answer here. Technically, under the law you should be able to sue someone for making false accusations against you or committing perjury in a court of law. That would not be handled by the family court but rather the prosecutor’s office. However, it is rare that any of these cases are taken up by the prosecutor’s office. There may be an opportunity to seek civil damages if you can show and prove in a court of law a strong causal connection to the allegation and the financial or emotional damage it caused you. You will want to consult with a civil attorney to discuss your likelihood of success in this regard.

Depending on your circumstances, it may make sense to pursue a lawsuit. Or it may be better for you and your children to move forward instead of reviving and reliving the ugliness of false accusations through a lawsuit.

What Do I Do if My Wife Makes False Accusations?

The first thing to do is to act quickly to stem the accusations by getting legal help. Our attorney will counsel you about what to do and what not to do based on the facts of your case. The actions you take once you are falsely accused can benefit your defense or greatly harm your case. Here are some things to do and not do if your wife has made false accusations:

  • Document verbal exchanges with your spouse and keep any text, email, voicemail or other contacts that beneficially highlight how the two of you have interacted in the past and during the time of the alleged abuse.
  • If the police are called to an alleged domestic violence scene, be cooperative with them and do not respond angrily toward them or your spouse.
  • If you are served with a temporary restraining order, follow the terms of that order in the letter. Talk to your attorney to make sure you understand what you can and cannot do and what happens if you violate the terms of that Temporary Restraining Order. Begin gathering evidence of your innocence to present to the judge at the final restraining order hearing.
  • When you are in court, calmly and factually present your evidence that disputes your spouse’s claims. Do not call her names or otherwise react angrily and definitely do not lash out at the Judge or any of the Court staff.

Also, if your wife falsely accused you during divorce proceedings in court and was under oath, she could potentially be held in contempt if you can prove that the allegations were false and the judge is made aware of the falsehood.

Our New Jersey divorce attorneys will guide you in specific steps to take based on your case if your wife makes false accusations.

Get Help from a Skilled Divorce Lawyer Who Stands Up for the Rights of Falsely Accused Spouses

If you’ve been falsely accused of domestic abuse during your divorce, you should not wait to get legal help from an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer. We will advise you of a course of action to take for your defense and will work to disprove the allegations. False accusations of domestic abuse during divorce can disrupt your ties with your children, cost you respect within your personal and professional communities and alter your life forever. We will do everything within our legal power to disprove the damaging allegations against you.

Contact Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC in Bergen County for help. Call (201) 880-9770 to arrange a case case evaluation with a knowledgeable domestic abuse lawyer.

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