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How may a father respond when an ex-spouse alleges child abuse?

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Individuals in Georgia and across the nation are finding themselves facing unwarranted accusations of abuse. A study published in the Washington Post revealed that family courts are hearing a significantly greater number of arguments containing false allegations of abuse in what is becoming an adversarial trend in divorce proceedings.

The increase in false accusations appears to be an effort brought on by some mothers who wish to sever the relationships between fathers and their children so that they may take full custody. More mothers, however, are losing custody of their children during divorce proceedings when fathers are able to successfully assert that the accusation is an attempt to alienate them from their children.

Researchers sought to discover whether the family courts were discrediting allegations of abuse based on an individual’s gender. During litigation over child custody matters, the study revealed that 28% of mothers lost custody of their children when they reported domestic violence and child abuse. On the other hand, when fathers claimed that the mother was abusive, only 12% of the fathers lost custody of their children.

Parental alienation, which is an attempt by one parent to damage a child’s relationship with their other parent, appears as though it may be a formidable defense in gaining custody. The study showed that some fathers were successful in defending themselves against a mother’s claim of child abuse by asserting parental alienation. In these situations, the family courts were more likely to disbelieve the mother’s claim of abuse by more than twice.

If you are working your way through a child custody dispute with your ex-spouse, you may unexpectedly find yourself in a defensive position against allegations of abuse or domestic violence. It might be helpful to keep in mind that making accusations of abuse has become a seemingly routine issue raised during contested child custody procedures.

This information is provided for educational purposes, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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