False Allegations and Custody Disputes
This article is dedicated to all the innocent dads and men out there who have ever been falsely accused of something they never did during a high conflict custody dispute. After being falsely accused on multiple occasions.
Dads fighting for custody are winning and the truth about false allegations and parent alienation is finally coming to light.
I want to share some thoughts about the subject. And some ways that may help you.
Before we go any further. I want to be very clear. This isn’t to help someone who has actually committed a crime or child abuse.
After becoming a dad, and being on the receiving end of multiple false accusations and restraining orders. I’ve seen and witnessed first hand the damage it can do.
I never dreamed of having to jump through so many legal hoops and situations in life. Simply by just wanting to be a dad and playing a more active role as a father in my child’s life.
So, If you are a dad ( or mom) involved in a divorce or custody dispute. Please be careful. There is a high probability you will be served with a protective order or faced with some sort of a false allegation during the process.
Someone can simply go before a magistrate and “say” you did something. It’s a sad reality. But that’s the court system in which we live today. You are not innocent until proven guilty when it comes to these allegations.
My wife and I have had multiple restraining orders filed against us. ( Me primarily) and they simply weren’t true. And as you continue to read this article we share some things that have helped us along the way.
You’re going to have to prove your innocence. I know, it’s backward. But more than likely that’s what you are going to have to do.
High Conflict Custody, False Allegations, and Parental Alienation is a problem that must be solved.
Hopefully, through awareness, education, and people taking the proper legal action.
We will eventually be able to curb what I consider, a gross miscarriage of justice and a social plague that is damaging our families and children. And that is Parental Alienation and false accusations.
Each year more than one million American children experience the divorce of their parents and approximately one-fourth of divorces involve an allegation of intimate partner violence.1 In high conflict custody disputes and divorce, this happens far too often. Each year, an estimated 175,000 children are involved in a divorce with a false allegation of domestic violence.2
That is a lot of innocent people and children. We, as a nation, should be able to come up with a solution to help curb this.
After facing, and experiencing multiple unfounded allegations of abuse. ( I lose count) I’ve learned how lies and words get twisted so far out of context that it simply just amazes me. I’ve had just about enough of this misjustice in our society.
I am all for protecting and putting away child abusers. But when people use the system to their advantage for custody or their own agenda. It is absolutely sickening.
My hope and prayer are you will be as outraged too because at the rate things are going, you or someone you know could be facing this situation before you know it. Consider what’s going on in the #metoo movement.
God forbid that you, your child, your son, your daughter, friend, family member or someone you know will ever have to go through this horrible and tragic event.
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” -Author Unknown
Protect the Innocent ( This means men, women, and children)
Fightingdads is about the truth, helping and protecting innocent people and seeking justice. This is not a website to excuse or help someone that has truly or actually abused someone, or God forbid a child.
Many people, however, especially men and dads, simply just trying to be a part of their children’s lives, being a decent human being and dad.
Are falsely accused of physical and/or even sexual abuse during a high conflict custody dispute. Often, one parent will make a false accusation to make the other parent look bad, try to make themselves look “good”, or simply just out of “revenge.”
The accuser could even be suffering from a mental disorder or undiagnosed disorder that no one knows about.
The accuser possibly could have been abused as a child themselves. And they project their own fears or dysfunction onto the other parent, and or even worse, the child.
There are attorneys who specialize in this called Parental Alienation Attorneys.
Regardless of whichever one it is. In my opinion, it is absolutely despicable and disgraceful to make a false allegation.
It is one thing to report validated abuse or suspected abuse. But to make an allegation out of spite to gain an unfair court advantage or for personal gain is incomprehensible. And certainly, not in the best interests of the child.
Countless men and even women are falsely accused of something that they did not do. It’s a tactic that parents and people have been using for years during a divorce or custody battle. It needs to stop.
Innocent people should not be punished for something that they did not do and there need to be consequences for the people that make these baseless and unfounded allegations.
“For someone to falsely accuse another out of anger and vengeance silences the voices of the many real victims.” – Judge presiding in Rudker Smith Trial *
The Problem- False Allegations and Parental Alienation
People that falsely accuse, hurt people that are not only accused.
They take away precious resources from agencies such as the police, and child protective services. Doctor.’s, therapists and even the legal system from pursuing those that truly need to be investigated, prosecuted and held accountable for their actions.
The annual taxpayer costs for federal poverty programs arising from family fragmentation and fatherlessness are conservatively estimated at $14 to $112 billion.*
False accusers have no idea what they are doing to their children in the meantime. The psychological and emotional impact can cause harm, that lasts for years.
For some, this even means the rest of their lives.
Parental alienation and high conflict custody disputes
Parental alienation is often the cause for these baseless accusations.
Wikipedia describes Parental alienation as the process, and the result, of psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members. It is a distinctive form of psychological abuse and family violence, towards both the child and the rejected family members, that occurs almost exclusively in association with family separation or divorce, particularly where legal action is involved.
“While some mental health professionals can debate if Parental Alienation is a “syndrome” and should be included in the DSM-5. What mental health professionals and our legal system can’t ignore, are the facts that it happens and has devastating effects on our children.” -Fightingdads
Some courts recognize parental alienation as a form of child abuse with long-term effects and serious outcomes for the child. Some jurisdictions, including Brazil and Mexico, have enacted parental alienation as a criminal offense.
Other jurisdictions may suspend child support in cases where parental alienation occurs. For example, in New York, in Matter of Robert Coull v. Pamela Rottman, No. 2014-01516, 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6611 (September 2, 2015), where the father was prevented from seeing his son by the child’s mother through a “pattern of alienation”, child support was suspended.
So, we can continue to allow for this behavior to continue, or we can treat it like every other form of abuse to a child. You can dress a pig up with lipstick all day long. But at the end of the day, a pig is still a pig. And psychological abuse is still a form of abuse, especially to a child.
Simply because it’s not currently in the DSM-5, doesn’t mean that it isn’t real and doesn’t happen.
Oftentimes, I believe that psychologists and doctors don’t want to believe that a person would be capable of doing such things. Because out of the 99% of the real loving mothers, and fathers, that they see on an everyday basis are well…are normal, sane, and caring parents.
They presume that what a parent is telling them is the truth. After all, most parents would never intentionally lie or make up something regarding the health or well being of their child, right?
Mental Health Professionals- Parental Alienation
Be it an underlying mental issue, disorder or “PAS.”
A survey taken at the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ annual (2014) conference reported 98% agreement “in support of the basic tenet of parental alienation: children can be manipulated by one parent to reject the other parent who does not deserve to be rejected.
For the child, the biopsychosocial-spiritual effects of parental alienation are devastating.
For both the alienated parent and child, the removal and denial of contact in the absence of neglect or abuse constitute cruel and unusual treatment.
A form of child maltreatment, parental alienation is a serious child protection matter as it undermines a basic principle of social justice for children: the right to know and be cared for by both of one’s parents.
When are people going to wake up to this fact? There are very clear, distinct symptoms, signs, patterns, and facts that parental alienation exists. Parental alienation causes children harm. Call it what you may, but a pig is still a pig.
The impact and devastation that a false allegation has on a person are almost completely unbearable.
Being publicly accused of a crime one did not commit could lead a person to jump off a bridge. Once the information is out there, defending yourself, clearing your name, fighting suspicion and tolerating disdain is a horrible predicament. – Carrie Barron M.D. Psychology Today
Facing any crime or allegation is stressful in and of itself.
The very thought of being labeled a child abuser and going on a lifelong child registry is 10x worse. The thought of going to jail or prison for something that you did not do is equally frightening.
The fact that someone can go before a judge or magistrate and literally strip the rights to see your very own child with nothing more than “sworn testimony” is ludicrous.
Especially if that person is a compulsive liar, mentally ill, or out for revenge.
It’s very similar to going before a grand jury. Surely you’ve heard the old adage “ You can indict a ham sandwich in a grand jury.” Well, in our opinion, it’s essentially the same.
The first to testify in a lawsuit seems right until someone comes forward and is cross-examined.” Proverbs 18:17
Making a false allegation is pretty easy for someone to do. Someone only needs to “say” something happened. More than likely this will be via a protective order or some sort of allegation of abuse.
Don’t be surprised if you are temporarily blocked or denied any time or contact with your ex or children.
Then, after your rights have been temporarily blocked or suspended, you have to go and fight to clear your name, if you choose to.
Hopefully, you are fortunate enough that you can hire an attorney. I believe this is why, in part. As to why so many fathers and dads give up their rights to be in their children’s lives in the first place.
Most dads are already facing an uphill battle simply by being “a man” in a custody dispute. Even more so after being accused of abuse.
Then, you have to sit and dwell. Still go to work. (or at least try to) On top of defending yourself. You try and pick up the pieces of your life. As you try to figure out what in the world just happened?
Then, after a while, most of your friends and family will find out. Some of them will stand beside you. Some will question or distance themselves from you. Because after all, who wants to be around a child abuser? (rightfully so) I wouldn’t either.
Most importantly, it harms the child. If we, as a society, stress the importance of protecting children from abuse. Then why not protect them from psychological abuse?
3 steps that could help during high conflict custody disputes
1.) Get a Camera
On multiple false allegations, I was fortunate enough to have a camera capture what really happened, versus the story that was told to the police and CPS. This was huge and helped a lot.
It’s also a prime example of what I mentioned earlier about how words and facts get so far twisted out of context that it isn’t even funny.
It is a sad statement and place to be in when you have to practically record and live every event of your life on either audio or video.
So when dealing with a revengeful or narcissistic ex. You may want to do the same.
I would rather do that than be falsely prosecuted or accused of a crime that I would never commit or do.
For example, take what happened to my wife. There was someone who tried to obtain a restraining order against her. But, because we had an in-home security camera.
It caught the entire incident on full audio and visual and was able to show it to the judge and the order was dismissed.
Right before the trial, God gave her the acronym PEACE.
Present Evidence Accusations Crumble Everywhere. And that’s what happened. Her attorney showed evidence of what really happened and not someone’s distorted view of what they thought had happened.
During a false allegation, depending on the nature of the allegation. You may even consider taking a polygraph test.
Don’t take this as legal advice. If you have an attorney then speak with them first.
In my particular case. I had an attorney and didn’t ask them at all. Within a matter of days, I was searching for the best polygraph examiner I could find.
Maybe we should start making the people who make an allegation take a polygraph examination as well?
There was no way in hell I was going down for something that I didn’t do or would ever do!
Generally speaking, there are two types of people in the world. Those that run straight to the problem or those who run and hide. Which brings me to our next topic and that is dealing with CPS.
CPS or Child protection services have one job. To protect children.
They may have another name or something similar in your state.
When you are alleged of doing something they are going to investigate. They are just doing their job and let them.
Some people that I have seen online or through different social media outlets don’t have very good things to say about them.
In my experiance, I have nothing bad to say. They did their job and it’s a good service to have. Again, I’m not advocating for people who have actually committed crimes or abuse to children.
There is a stark difference between validated, actual abuse. And when someone fabricates a story in an attempt to alienate the other parent or gain equity for a custody hearing.
This also applies when speaking with a Guardian ad litem.
Be honest and tell the truth.
Always consult with or seek an attorney if you have questions or feel otherwise. This is not legal advice and only things that I have personally experienced.
2.) Document everything
I have repeated this over and over again throughout Fightingdads.com.
Document as much as you can. Keep emails, texts, and when and where you were, etc. Especially if you are in a high conflict custody dispute.
With technology the way it is today. It’s is becoming easier and could easily help prove your innocence of being or not being somewhere at a certain time or place.
Once, I was accused of “stalking”. I wish I had thought of getting the GPS coordinates of my phone at the time. This could have very easily proved that I wasn’t stalking someone.
Looking back I should have fought it but I didn’t. There was a conditional protective order kept in place with certain conditions in which the other party didn’t abide by.
Certainly, I would have been arrested if I didn’t abide by that order… I wonder why the other party wasn’t? Gender biased maybe??
That in part is why I wrote about father rights in a separate blog as well. A court order is in place for a reason and it should be abided by. Period.
When people aren’t held responsible for their actions it only emboldens them to continue their behavior.
There was a pretty good documentary on Netflix called Longshot. It was about an innocent man who was accused of murder. But because he was caught on camera being at a Dodger’s game. The evidence was contrary to the prosecution’s theory.
Thankfully for him and his family. By the hard-working effort of his attorney. Going through hours of video and pursuing justice for an innocent man, his name was eventually cleared.
3.) Hire an attorney
Get some legal advice. Start educating yourself and be conscientious of your surroundings at all times.
Try not to allow yourself to be put in a situation where you could be harmed or threatened. If you are faced with an allegation. You better pray, seek God, and fight like hell.
Hopefully, if you didn’t do anything. Chances are the truth will come out. It always has for me. I do give all the credit and honor to God for this. There are several articles on God and fighting the good fight of faith. When it comes to your marriage and children.
It is very unfortunate when two parents simply don’t get along and try to get back at one another. It’s not very good co-parenting or in the best interest of the child.
Accusations of abuse are serious and should be taken with the highest levels of precaution.
However, people that make false accusations need to be accountable for their actions as well.
False allegations cause far too much pain. They cost far too much on individuals and a society in whole to simply go unchecked or unpunished.
Yes, we should do absolutely everything in our power to encourage someone to make a report of true abuse.
But making one for court advantage or out of spite is an entirely different ballgame. For someone to use and abuse the judicial system or think that it’s a game is playing with fire.
Maybe if we started making an example of these people. Instead of letting them go unchecked may help people think twice before making a false allegation? Let us know what you think down in the comments below.
A civil suit can be filed against most people if the allegation was unfounded.
But how is that protecting the child? Or innocent people? It’s not.
So, how does that stop a revengeful ex from making baseless accusations?
What if they don’t have any money to gain from and is that a true form of “punishment?”
The truth is innocent people are innocent people and False accusations harm children too! The last time I checked, you are innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around.
I truly hope our justice system can help implement a better way of dealing with people that make false accusations.
Maybe one day when one, when someone who is in a position to do something about it is falsely accused, will finally get it. And help bring about the change which is so desperately needed.
Until then, do your best to stay encouraged and don’t give up hope. You are not the only one who has been falsy accused and I sincerely wish you the best in your case.
Keep fighting for your child. As tough or hard as that may be.
Take care and God Bless.
1 States, 1999. Tables 155 and 159. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000.