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Addressing allegations of abuse in custody cases

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2021 | Child Custody

One of the issues parents in Florida who are involved in a custody dispute might have to face is an allegation of abuse. While in some cases allegations turn out to be true, in other cases the allegations are false and stem from a variety of factors affecting the accusing parent.

How allegations of abuse might affect custody outcome

Whether true or false, an allegation of abuse has the potential of ensuring that the accusing parent wins the child custody case since allegations are often difficult to disprove and might end convincing the judge that the accusing parent should have custody. When an allegation of abuse is made, an investigation involving mental health professionals should begin. A therapist or other mental health professional can use a variety of tools to figure out the veracity of abuse allegations after interviewing the child and each of the parents.

Why are false allegations made?

There are a variety of reasons why a parent might make a false allegation of abuse in a child custody case. The reasons can include:

  • Narcissism and self-absorption, where the parent feels that they own the child and should have total control of them
  • Vindictiveness, where the parent is angry and hurt and decides to get back at the other parent through the allegation of abuse
  • Misinterpretation of a child’s comment, where a parent misunderstands a child’s comment and arrives at an incorrect conclusion

The effect on the child

Custody cases should be based on the best interests of the child. If the allegations of abuse are true, then the child needs to be protected, usually by removing the child from that parent’s custody or by limiting their contact. However, if the allegations are false, the damage to the child can be long-lasting, as it threatens the child’s relationship with that parent and often teaches the child to victimize themselves throughout their lives.