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False Allegations of Domestic Violence in Divorce

The divorce process is hard on everyone, but every once in awhile, one spouse will make the process a lot more difficult than it needs to be. From demanding outrageous and unfair settlements, to trying to keep the kids away from the other parent, our Boca Raton divorce attorneys have seen clients through a number of difficult divorce cases. The most difficult cases, however, are those in which one spouse claims that the other committed acts of domestic violence against him or her.

False accusations of domestic violence (DV) are not uncommon in divorce cases. In fact, according to SAVE – Stop Abusive and Violent Environments – 25 percent of all divorce cases in the United States hear at least one allegation of domestic violence. According to the same source, 70 percent of restraining orders that arise from charges of domestic violence are false.

Consequences of False Allegations of Domestic Violence

The punishments for domestic violence in Florida can be severe, ranging from the criminal – such as incarceration (mandatory minimum of five days in the state of Florida, under Statutes 741.283), fines, and a restraining order – to the civil, which can be as equally devastating—especially when one is going through a divorce. For an individual going through a divorce, false allegations of domestic violence can have the following consequences:

  • Presumption of Custody: Under Florida Statutes 61.13, the courts will award parental responsibility to both parents unless they find that shared parenting poses some sort of detriment to the child. A conviction of domestic violence creates a presumption of detriment; if the presumption is not rebutted, the convicted parent shall lose custody and parenting rights altogether.
  • No Visitation Rights: Because a person convicted of domestic violence will be given a restraining order disallowing contact with the victim, any visitation rights with the children are restricted as a result. If the individual does get any visitation rights, it will be under strict supervision.
  • No Mediation: If an individual is accused and convicted of domestic violence, they may lose all rights to mediation in divorce.
  • Barred from the Shared Home: An individual that is accused and convicted of domestic violence in Florida is to be excluded from the family home and any property within that residence, typically a consequence resulting from the domestic violence injunction placed upon them. This is still the case even if the accused individual is the sole owner of the family home.

Of course, the falsely accused will be subject to other penalties – such as mandatory anger management courses and a domestic violence injunction – but the above are just examples of how false accusations of domestic violence can affect the outcome of a divorce.

Consult a Boca Raton Family Law Attorney

At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, our family law lawyers aim to make the divorce proceedings as fair as possible for both parties. False accusations are not only unfair, but they are wrong and illegal. If your spouse has filed a domestic violence charge against you under false pretenses, contact our family law firm to speak with a representative right away.



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