There are few things as difficult to deal with than false child abuse allegations. Not only is it a grave crime to be accused of, it also comes with the social stigma and the offence towards your very person, but a Child support lawyer Calgary is able to help you throughout this situation and aid your case to prove that you have been wrongly accused.
There are different reasons why someone would go the lengths of accusing someone falsely of a crime, let alone child abuse. Most commonly this is done during custody battles and mainly there are three categories in which those accusations can be put into. There are allegations that are made with honest intentions but wrong due to misunderstandings of events. Allegations which are done maliciously in order to get revenge or manipulate the custody battle towards the accuser’s favour. And allegations that are made due to mental disturbance.
Judges are aware that false accusations are, unfortunately, more common than people think. While they will always lean more towards the child’s best interests in case of doubt, they will still conduct a thorough investigation to assess those accusations. It is also crucial to mention that if the accused persuades or misleads someone, including the child, of making a false statement this is considered an offence of obstruction of justice.
On the next following topics let us look more over how lawyers in Calgary are able to support you if you are the victim of false accusations.
How Should You Behave
It is understandable if your first reaction to those accusations is to be angry, but do not let your emotions get the better of you. Comply with authorities and support their investigation as much as you are able, be cooperative.
Another important thing you should do is muster as much evidence as possible in your favour, this may be statements by anyone who can attest you are not abusing your child, they can be family members, friends, and even neighbours.
Being crystal clear with family and friends is crucial. You do not want to sound or look like you are hiding something, and letting them know what is going on will prepare them ahead of time in case they are asked anything during the investigation. Encourage them to be honest during their statements. Those people can also provide written statements that can be documented and used in your favour during the investigation. If the Court cannot find any evidence of abuse, then they will either rule that it did not happen or that it cannot be proven.
Those “rules” of conduct are also applicable in the case that the child has been misled into falsely accusing you of abuse. Comply with authorities, gather evidence including statements, and support the investigation.
During those moments you will want the best possible lawyer in Calgary you are able to hire. Because of the severity of the accusation, an experienced and seasoned lawyer will be your best line of defence to protect yourself, your best interests, and even the child in question.
What May Happen During an Investigation
Do not be surprised if during this delicate moment you lose, temporarily, your rights of visitation to the child. While frustrating, judges will have the child’s best interests in mind and for the sake of safety will lean towards caution with any kind of accusation regarding child abuse or neglect. Visitation rights will be given back once the investigation is over and no evidence of abuse could be collected.
Once again, you will want to have a good family lawyer with you throughout the process to build your case. This is crucial if you want your parental rights to be protected.
Because of the seriousness of the accusations, it is most likely that assessors, mental health professionals, police and child welfare investigators will be present during the case to employ their expertise and experience to get the truth out of those accusations.
Child abuse accusations are extremely serious and should be dealt with the same degree of seriousness by your and your lawyer’s part. A study conducted by the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect in 2008 found that there were around 235,842 child abuse investigations conducted, but only 20% of the cases were found to have a significant risk of future maltreatment – that is, in only 20% of the cases there was enough evidence to prove the abuse.
However, more often than not, those allegations were made in good faith (35%), while only 6% were made with malicious intentions. False reports of abuse and neglect that are manufactured with malice are frequently done so as to influence the court system or to exact revenge on a former spouse, neighbour, or family member.
Always have a trustworthy family lawyer with you throughout the process so your best interests and rights are kept in mind and protected.