There is no question that domestic violence is a very real concern in our nation, and thousands of men and women in this country suffer emotional, physical and verbal abuse at the hands of their spouses and romantic partners each day. But unfortunately, as Atlanta divorce attorneys, we have seen litigants use false or misleading allegations of spousal or family violence in order to obtain an advantage in divorce or child custody proceedings. Not only does this type of conduct undermine the very real suffering of those struggling to escape abuse relationships, but this strategy often backfires on those who employ it. Listed below are four reasons why you should never make unfounded allegations of abuse during divorce.
- Escalated conflict equals more court costs. Making false allegations of spousal abuse or child abuse will only add fuel to the fire of a hotly contested divorce. And, once a divorce becomes more contested, it is highly likely that the litigation costs associated with divorce will increase.
- You risk criminal prosecution. Many fail to realize that making false allegations to law enforcement is illegal. Thus, if you make false police reports in an attempt to color your estranged spouse as abusive, you could potentially face criminal prosecution.
- You risk losing credibility. Not only could you face criminal prosecution for making false allegation s of abuse, but if you lie to the court presiding over your divorce matter, you risk losing credibility before the court. Once you lie to the judge on one issue, he or she will be highly skeptical about any future claims you make during your case.
- You risk losing child custody. As mentioned above, if you make false allegations of abuse during your divorce or child custody matter, you risk losing credibility in the eyes of the court. Lack of credibility can be especially devastating if you are seeking primary custody of your children, because if the court finds that your false allegations have detriment to your children, you may risk the court finding that it is not in your children’s best interests to award you primary custody. Put plainly, making false allegations of abuse is one of the quickest ways to lose a child custody battle.