San Diego, CA – In some child custody cases, it’s not uncommon for one parent to falsely accuse the other of child abuse to gain the upper hand. This leaves the accused parent in a very difficult situation, and overcoming the abuse claims is not always easy.
Child abuse and child custody cases
Carlsbad divorce attorney John Griffith of Griffith, Young, and Lass says that anyone wrongly accused of child abuse must first understand the accusations against them. Child abuse is a very serious crime, and it could put a child custody agreement in jeopardy.
Griffith says, “According to California Penal Code Section 273, child abuse could lead to a conviction of the charge of child endangerment if you cause physical or mental pain to a child, cause a child in your care to be injured, or you cause a child to be placed in a dangerous situation.”
A person convicted of child endangerment could lose physical or legal custody of a child in addition to criminal punishment. Griffith says that a misdemeanor child endangerment conviction could be punishable by up to six months in jail, while a felony conviction could be punishable by up to two, four or six years in prison.
Griffith says, “Even if the person is not convicted, the mere allegations of child abuse could lead to a restraining or protective order, and this could impact your custody case.”
What do you do if a protective or restraining order is granted?
Griffith suggests that the accused abide by the terms of the order no matter how unfair the situation may seem, then contact a skilled and experienced family law attorney.
An experienced attorney can help the accused gather all the necessary information to prove the child abuse claims as false. This includes collecting the dates on which the abuse is to have taken place, and any information about the accused’s whereabouts during those times. Other pertinent pieces of information could include text messages, receipts, and witness testimony.
“If you have been accused of child abuse, it is important that you speak to an experienced California family law attorney right away so that you can disprove the accusations against you,” Griffith says.
To learn more about defending yourself against false accusations of child abuse during a child custody case, contact John Griffith at Griffith, Young, and Lass serving San Diego, Leucadia, and Del Mar.
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