Divorce cases can get ugly quickly, especially when children are involved. Whether parents are acting purely from fear of losing their children or from animosity toward each other, it is not unusual for divorcing spouses to play dirty when it comes to custody matters.
One treacherous game a parent may play is accusing the other parent of abusing the children. Perhaps nothing will cause the court to act faster to remove children from a parent than allegations of abuse. This makes false accusations an effective way to gain the upper hand over a spouse in a bitter custody battle. If you are in this situation now, you understand the fear and concern a parent may feel for the future and the well-being of their children.
What to expect
You have every right to feel a sense of urgency when you are under suspicion of having harmed your children. It is a confusing time, and you may want to lash out at your former partner. However, this may only serve to exacerbate your situation. The first step many parents in your shoes will take is to seek solid legal advice and guidance. Your attorney may prepare you to expect any of the following during the inevitable investigation into the allegations of child abuse:
- The court may order medical examinations of the children.
- Child protective services may request that a mental health expert interview the children.
- Police or child protective services may interview your family, close friends, your children’s teacher and others to get an idea of your fitness as a parent.
- The court may remove the children from your home or suspend your custody privileges during the investigation if they fear the children are in danger.
If the investigation finds no evidence of abuse, you will regain your parental rights. If the court suspects your ex of fabricating these allegations, your ex may suffer legal consequences, including paying for any legal fees you incurred during the investigation.
The purpose of the investigation is to ensure the children are not in a situation where they may suffer harm. If you keep this in mind, you may be better able to tolerate the questions and other intrusions into your life. You would be wise to cooperate with investigators in any capacity that your attorney advises. However, having your Michigan lawyer by your side from the earliest possible moments following your awareness of the accusations can help you avoid making mistakes with painful consequences.