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Do false domestic violence claims affect custody cases?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2023 | FAMILY LAW - Domestic Violence

Courts take domestic violence allegations seriously, offering temporary protection to people claiming abuse even before the formal submission of proof of such claim. This is because domestic violence is a time-sensitive matter and victims must be separated from their abusers immediately.

Accordingly, courts consider confirmed history of domestic violence when deciding child custody cases. But what if a parent makes a claim of domestic violence, which later turns out to be false? Will it affect the court’s determination?

An allegation that can backfire on the accuser

Naturally, the false allegation will not affect the custody and visitation chances of the accused parent since the court considers only substantiated domestic abuse claims, in relation to other factors, during their custody determination.

However, the court may consider the accuser parent’s false claim of abuse as part of their determination. Under New Jersey laws, courts can rule a parent unfit if their conduct has a substantial adverse effect on the child. While it still depends on the case circumstances and the judge’s discretion, the accuser’s weaponized use of false abuse allegation can be labeled as a conduct that can negatively affect the child.

Protecting your custody rights from false claims

Domestic violence allegations, even if later proven false, adversely affect an accused parent’s rights, opportunities and reputation. Additionally, this accusation can taint that parent’s relationship with their child.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it is essential that you develop strategies that would effectively protect your custody rights and maintain your relationship with your child. Working with a competent family law attorney may help you reach these goals.