Whenever a former wife makes allegations about a father’s ability to be a custodial or co-parent, or claims that you are unfit to be with the children when you spend time with them during visitation weekends and holidays, it’s a serious matter. The court sits up and pays close attention and, under some circumstances, child protective services or even the police may become involved.
What is even worse is when the allegations are totally made up because your ex simply wants to make trouble for you due to reasons of her own. As family lawyers for men and fathers in New Jersey, we see this happening more often than it should, usually when the mother is unhappy because we are fighting for or have won co-parenting rights for the father or he was named custodial parent by a judge.
These false claims can sway a judge in awarding custody or to review the custody order. Nearly as damaging as the allegations is that they clog the already overcrowded family court calendar with frivolous motions and hearings simply because the mother is vengeful, spiteful or angry. It means a cloud will hang over you until the allegations are dismissed.
New Jersey Child Custody Strategies
The first thing to remember when confronted with a false allegation is to remain calm. When your former wife resorts to making false allegations, she probably is telegraphing that she’s desperate.
She may accuse you of failing to follow a court order, neglecting the children, or even of physical or sexual abuse. Remember, you have truth on your side so we can work together to disprove the allegations.
As soon as you learn of the allegations, we will work with you to create a strategy for confronting and disproving them. Yes, it is frustrating and bizarre to prove that you are in the right; proving a negative is as difficult in real life as it is in mathematics. But it is absolutely necessary to show a judge that you didn’t do what is being said about you and that you are a good father and parent. Don’t focus on the injustice of your situation but on taking concrete steps that can be presented to a court.
A common allegation is that the father always is late in picking up their kids. Ask their teachers and other authority figures such as a daycare manager to vouch for your timeliness. Have friends make statements regarding your involvement in the lives of your children such as coaching a team, volunteering at extra-curricular activities, or taking them with you to a house of worship. Begin documenting your involvement with a detailed log, time stamped if possible.
If the claims are more serious such as having a history of child abuse, we can show the court that you have a clean that you have a clean criminal record.
All of this information can be used to ward off future false allegations as well as to assure a judge that whatever she is claiming now was made up out of thin air.
Seek Legal Help from a Child Custody Attorney in New Jersey
Every case differs. The strategy needed in your situation will depend heavily on the specifics of what your ex is claiming you did or did not do. Even if we did not represent you in your original divorce process, we can help you overcome the challenge she is mounting.
If you or a father you know face false allegations about your care for your children, feel free to call me or one of our family law attorneys for men and fathers who are skilled at handling complex child custody issues in New Jersey. Reach us at either 973.562.0100 in Nutley or, in Montclair, at 862.245.4620.