Peter Blair | June 14, 2022 | Domestic Violence
Domestic abuse charges are serious, and many states have strict laws designed to protect victims — whether it’s a spouse, parent, or guardian who is abusing them.
However, some unscrupulous people may use domestic violence laws to their advantage, whether to seek revenge against a former partner or ensure a better outcome after a divorce.
Domestic violence charges can have life-changing consequences. You could go to jail, lose custody of your children, or lose most of the marital assets in a divorce.
Additionally, these charges could ruin your reputation with your community and your family. You may even lose your job as a result. And even if you’re cleared in a criminal court, you may still be regarded with suspicion by everyone in your life.
If you’re accused of domestic violence, your partner automatically receives temporary custody of your children, and you aren’t allowed to contact your children or your partner. Defending against a false claim of domestic violence can help protect you, especially if you’re proactive.
Understanding What Domestic Violence Is
There are three forms of domestic abuse: economic abuse, psychological violence, and sexual violence. While some forms of domestic violence may be fairly self-evident, there are other forms of domestic abuse, such as:
- Preventing your partner from getting a job
- Using guilt or unwanted sexual advances to get sex
- Threatening to destroy special personal property
- Insulting your partner or undermining their self-confidence
- Yelling at your partner or name-calling
- Public humiliation or threatening to ruin their reputation
- Checking their phone without permission or stalking
Many people may not realize that these actions can be considered abusive. However, if you’re going through a difficult break-up, including divorce, be aware that these actions may be used against you.
Tips to Avoid Domestic Violence Allegations
One of the best ways to prevent false domestic violence allegations is to avoid getting into potentially volatile situations, especially those that could escalate into a fight.
Try to remain calm and avoid profanity or derogatory terms against your partner. If you can’t come to a compromise in a disagreement, try to walk away from the situation until both of you are calmer.
Create a Defense
If you suspect that your partner may accuse you of domestic abuse, begin creating a strong defense for yourself. Consider any motivations they may have to accuse you of domestic violence, such as getting better terms in a divorce or primary custody of minor children.
Or, you may examine whether your partner is vengeful because of perceived slights from you or if they have an underlying mental health concern that could motivate them to make these claims. Try to record any erratic behavior or actions just in case you need evidence in court.
You may be called upon to have character witnesses, such as family members, a babysitter or nanny, co-workers, or neighbors, who can attest to your partner’s treatment and parenting abilities.
Domestic abuse cases often involve entire families and can be upsetting even for those not immediately affected. Notify your family of your concerns and fears about potential false allegations.
Protect Yourself and Your Valuables
Change all of your passwords to bank accounts, email, and social media. Set up two-part verification on all accounts. You may also wish to protect your valuables and critical legal documents by moving them into storage, a bank lockbox, or having a trusted friend or family member store valuable possessions.
Hire a Lawyer
Your domestic violence attorney is your advocate in domestic violence charges, and they put your rights and interests first. Be honest with your lawyer. They’re required by law to protect your confidentiality, and they can craft the best defense when they are aware of all of the facts — even ones that may not paint you in the best light.