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What Would You Do If You Were Falsely Accused Of Child Abuse Or Neglect?
A parent’s greatest nightmare is being accused of child abuse or neglect on the basis of false information. Before you consider the legal issues or the impact on your family’s future, your first instinct is to feel. Someone accuses you of causing physical, mental or emotional harm to your child, or depriving them of their basic needs.
Just being blamed can be traumatic and can trigger a range of other complex emotions. Their anger and resentment toward the accusers and those who may have been involved in the allegations is understandable. You may be tempted to throw a tantrum, but it’s best to exercise restraint and seek legal advice.
How can I fight a false report of child abuse?
False reports of child abuse by child protective services can lead to the filing of a child abuse case, which could threaten your parental rights and custody of your child. It is important to use the services of an experienced lawyer to advance the situation as much as possible. You don’t want to wait for your child support case to go to trial when your court-appointed attorney may not be your best.
Once you realize you’ve been falsely accused of abuse, here’s what you should do
Why am I being accused of child abuse?
Even people who have never done anything wrong to their children can be troubled by this problem. Innocent people can be accused of child abuse for a variety of reasons, but all with good or bad intentions.
A bona fide charge of child abuse
A bona fide accusation is one made in good faith by a person reporting child abuse. In other words, they may have made a mistake in identifying you or your child, they may have thought your actions were abusive, they may have suffered from false memories, or they may have been misled into believing the lies of others, but they did so in order to stop what they thought was child abuse. They made a report.
Intentional reporting of child abuse is done by professionals such as teachers, doctors, therapists and police. They could also be well-meaning people in your family or community. Even if someone has made a serious mistake about your loss, with the help of an experienced attorney, you can prove the charges against you wrong.
The allegations of child abuse are malicious
Allegations of malicious child abuse can be more complicated. This is because the person making the accusation often wants to hurt the person making the accusation. The perpetrators of such allegations could be ex-spouses, ex-lovers or disgruntled family members. This may be a particular problem if the plaintiff seeks custody or other control over the defendant’s children, or simply wants to hurt the defendant’s relationship with them.
Is there a penalty for false allegations of child abuse?
If you are falsely accused of child abuse, you may be civilly liable for defamation by the defendant, and you may be criminally liable if you make a false report to a government agency.
A person who makes a false accusation may be liable for all costs incurred by the defendant as a result of the false accusation, including court costs. If the person making the false accusation shares custody of the child accused of abuse, he or she may be held responsible for the parents’ estrangement and the custody and visitation agreement may be modified in his or her favor.
Do you need help fighting false allegations of child abuse?
At Spodek Law Group, we represent clients in a variety of difficult legal issues. Being accused of child abuse or neglect can be one of the worst experiences of your life. If these allegations are indeed false, rest assured that we will prove them and provide you with the legal tools necessary to protect your parental rights and your relationship with your child.
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