Unfortunately, false allegations of child abuse have become common in family cases — after all, it’s not very hard to make an allegation. All it takes is a declaration under oath with a depiction of the abuse. But at the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks, our experienced family law attorneys know how to fight false allegations in family court.
All too often, child abuse allegations amount to nothing more than she said, he said. This is especially true if the child is younger and unable to comment on the abuse.
California law demands that all children must receive frequent interaction with both parents. However, one exception to the rule is if a preponderance of evidence proves the allegation of child abuse from one parent to the other to be true. This is commonly known as a “51% standard” or “tipping the scales.”
Yet, what if the burden of proof is not satisfied? What are the rights of the parent who is falsely accused? What happens to the parent who made the false allegations? Below we’ll examine these questions and more.
False Allegations Can Lead to Limited Custody or Visitation
Under California law, the court may limit a parent’s visitation or custody if that parent is found to have intentionally made false allegations. The court looks down on parents who purposefully hinder the other parent’s parenting time. If enough evidence is found, then the accusing parent can receive limited custody or supervised visitation.
Burden of Proof Must Be Met for False Allegations
Proving a child abuse allegation is false requires substantial burden of proof.
Without such proof, the court cannot limit the accusing parent’s visitation or custody if the accusation was made upon a reasonable set of beliefs. This is even more true if the accusation can be corroborated by other witnesses. What this means is that even if the court doesn’t find a particular accusation to be true, that doesn’t mean the accusation was made to intentionally strip the other parent of contact with the child.
Large Monetary Sanctions for Falsely Claiming Child Abuse
In addition to the court’s ability to limit the accusing parent’s custody or visitation for false allegations of child abuse, the court may also impose large monetary sanctions upon that parent. However, the total cost of the sanction can’t surpass the cost incurred by the parent that is falsely accused, and typically includes the attorney’s fees for defending against the allegation.
How do you begin the process of seeking these sanctions? You must file a request for order and lay out the facts that demonstrate the extent of the false accusations.
Learn More About How to Fight False Allegations in Family Court
Remember that you’re not guilty until proven innocent. Although family courts typically err on the side of caution when allegations are made, a Fresno family law attorney can help you defend yourself. To learn more about how to fight false allegations in family court, contact the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks today.