Any legal matter involving your rights as a parent has the potential to be upsetting. Adding in false allegations against you by an ex only makes the situation worse.
Unfortunately, these are the exact circumstances in which many parents find themselves. They want to be with their children, but the other parent is jeopardizing that by fabricating accusations of neglect, abuse and other things that call a parent’s capabilities into question. If your ex is doing this to you, consider carefully how you respond.
Defending yourself without making things worse
During a child custody dispute, responding to false allegations with anger or other emotional displays can be tempting and, in some cases, justified. However, it is crucial to try and stay calm and refrain from lashing out.
Keep in mind that your ex knows the buttons to push to make you upset. Snapping back not only gives them what they want, but it can also provide more fodder for the courts when they are assessing what is in the best interests of your child.
Thus, if your ex is making false, hurtful accusations against you, do your best to:
- Stay calm.
- Take a break from the situation.
- Refrain from sending any messages in writing, making calls or leaving voicemails.
- Stay off social media.
- Explore a healthy outlet, like exercise, spending time with friends or playing with your kids.
Some specific things you should make every effort to avoid can include:
- Making threats
- Getting into a physical altercation
- Taking your anger out on your children
- Sharing personal information to hurt or embarrass them
- Harassing them
These actions can make the situation worse by making you appear volatile or violent, which could work against you in court.
Combating false accusations
All that said, you may still need to address the false allegations. To do so, keep track of all your communications with your ex; reach out to friends and family who can vouch for you; talk to an attorney to protect yourself and hold your ex responsible for making false accusations.
Being accused of something hurtful when you are in a custody dispute can be devastating. However, responding wisely can help you defend your rights, reputation and relationship with your child.