5 Things to Do if You Are Falsely Accused of Abuse in a Divorce

 Posted on April 30, 2024 in Child Abuse

Kane County, IL divorce lawyerIn some high-conflict divorces, one spouse tries to harm the other spouse with false allegations of abuse. He or she accuses the other spouse of engaging in physical, emotional, or sexual abuse against an adult or child. These allegations can affect the accused spouse in severe ways. For example:

  • It can cost him or her child custody.

  • He or she can receive prison time.

  • He or she can be burdened with a criminal record.

Law enforcement and the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) are required to take every accusation seriously. If a report is made against you, an investigation will be opened. As soon as you think you are the victim of a false report of abuse, contact an Illinois divorce attorney who can help you begin crafting your defense.

Is Making False Allegations a Crime?

Falsely accusing someone of something is not in itself a crime under Illinois law. Making a false report to the authorities, however, is a crime. Under the state’s False Claims Act, if the state spends any resources because of a false report, the person who filed the report is guilty of a crime.

Here are five things you should do if a false report is made against you.

Be Cooperative

It is normal to be angry if you are falsely accused of abuse by your spouse in a divorce. But keep in mind that once law enforcement and/or DCFS launches an investigation, they will be watching your behavior to see if you match the profile of an abuser. Being respectful and cooperative with the investigation will be part of your defense.

Gather Evidence

Work with your attorney to begin gathering evidence showing that you are not guilty of abuse. You may also want to show that your spouse is known to exaggerate or has made false claims in the past. Such forms of evidence include:

  • Emails

  • Text messages

  • Phone records

  • Testimony from witnesses

Comply With Court Orders

Depending on the false report that was made, a judge may issue an order of protection, or restraining order, against you. While this may seem unfair, obey the court order. Refusing to comply may make matters worse. Remember that you want to avoid giving authorities any reason to believe the report, and that includes your behavior.

Avoid Confrontation With Your Spouse

Sometimes false allegations are made just to bait the accused into doing something that can be considered abusive, which could lend some validity to the false report. Avoid falling into this trap by avoiding confrontation with the accuser.

Contact a Kane County, IL Divorce Attorney

The most important step to take if you are falsely accused of abuse in a divorce is to contact a St. Charles, Illinois divorce attorney. At Goostree Law Group, we are highly experienced in high-conflict divorce matters, including false accusations. We fight aggressively for our clients and are ready to help you build a strong defense. Call us at 630-584-4800 for a free consultation today.

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