Dealing with False Domestic Abuse Accusations

False accusations of domestic abuse are common in divorce and custody cases in Illinois and Iowa.  Properly handling such accusations of domestic violence is of the highest importance.

Domestic abuse – real versus fake

To be sure, there are many real cases of domestic abuse.  As an attorney who handles family law cases in Iowa and Illinois, I have represented many clients who were the victims of domestic abuse. Those are sad cases, each and every time. I find it rewarding to help clients who are suffering from domestic abuse to put an end to that abuse through the legal system.

However, there are also many people who make up false accusations of domestic abuse against their husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or blood relatives.  Those false accusations can be quite harmful to every aspect of a person’s life.

Why people make up untrue accusations of domestic abuse

Untrue accusations of domestic violence are made up by some people for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes, a person sees such a false accusation as a means of getting an unwanted spouse or former significant other out of a shared home.  Other times, false accusations of domestic abuse are made in an attempt to gain an advantage in a custody case.  Still other situations see false domestic abuse allegations being made purely for the purpose of getting revenge.  Sometimes, it is a mixture of those reasons. Regardless, false accusations are a sadly common part of many divorce and custody situations in Illinois and Iowa.

Why false domestic abuse accusations can be so harmful in Iowa and Illinois

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First and foremost, a domestic abuse accusation that is false can still result in serious criminal charges.  Even the least serious domestic violence conviction often carries mandatory jail sentences, and all domestic violence convictions also carry with them a ban on gun ownership that can last a lifetime.  Nowadays, many domestic abuse charges that would have been misdemeanors in years past are currently felonies.  Such criminal convictions can lead to a variety of collateral issues, such as problems with employment, housing, etc.

Often as part of a criminal case or a separate protective order case, the court will grant an alleged victim of domestic violence a court order that excludes the alleged abuser from the home.  In cases of false domestic abuse accusations, that means that a person is excluded from their own home, often with little to no warning.  That can cause serious problems for a person’s finances, ability to be ready for work/school, etc.  Sometimes, such as protective order will also take away a person’s ability to use their own car, which can be a great hardship as well.

Domestic abuse accusations can also have a significant effect upon the outcome of a custody case.  Both Iowa and Illinois law favors giving custody of a child to a parent who was not the perpetrator of domestic abuse.  Thus, a false domestic abuse accusation, if believed by the court that is handling the divorce or custody case, can result in a person losing custody of their child.

What to do about untrue domestic abuse accusations

A person who is the victim of a false accusation of domestic violence should take the matter seriously and promptly consult with an attorney.  In order to protect one’s legal interests, it is important to properly address the situation and prepare for the court hearings that will soon occur.  Doing so puts a person in the best position possible to resolve the false accusations without suffering a criminal conviction or other finding that causes lasting harm.

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