False Abuse Allegations and Consequences on Child Custody
In this #metoo era, there is an increasing class of victims: the wrongfully accused. If you’ve been falsely accused, there isn’t much that can be done to remedy your loss of reputation, mental and emotional distress. HOWEVER, in child custody cases, because false abuse allegations are so rampant, the Legislature has enacted laws dealing with this area.
Have you been falsely accused of abuse by your former spouse? Read below for the law governing. Knowledge is power.
It may be tempting to falsely accuse your spouse is abusing your child, but do NOT do it. First, it is EVIL. How would you feel if someone did that to you? Secondly, you could absolutely lose custody.
Family Code 3027.1 states, (a) If a court determines, based on the investigation described in Section 3027 or other evidence presented to it, that an accusation of child abuse or neglect made during a child custody proceeding is false and the person making the accusation knew it to be false at the time the accusation was made, the court may impose reasonable money sanctions, not to exceed all costs incurred by the party accused as a direct result of defending the accusation, and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in recovering the sanctions, against the person making the accusation. For the purposes of this section, “person” includes a witness, a party, or a party’s attorney.
(b) On motion by any person requesting sanctions under this section, the court shall issue its order to show cause why the requested sanctions should not be imposed. The order to show cause shall be served on the person against whom the sanctions are sought and a hearing thereon shall be scheduled by the court to be conducted at least 15 days after the order is served.
(c) The remedy provided by this section is in addition to any other remedy provided by law.
Family Code 3027.5 states, ” (b) The court may order supervised visitation or limit a parent’s custody or visitation if the court finds substantial evidence that the parent, with the intent to interfere with the other parent’s lawful contact with the child, made a report of child sexual abuse, during a child custody proceeding or at any other time, that he or she knew was false at the time it was made. Any limitation of custody or visitation, including an order for supervised visitation, pursuant to this subdivision, or any statute regarding the making of a false child abuse report, shall be imposed only after the court has determined that the limitation is necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the child, and the court has considered the state’s policy of assuring that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents as declared in subdivision (b) of Section 3020.”
If you have been dragged through hell and back in your custody proceeding due to malicious false allegations of abuse, you should absolutely file a Motion requesting sanctions and seeking sole custody. For a good case discussing the use of Family Code 3027.1, 171 Cal.App.4th 1500, D051552, Robert J. v. Catherine D_
If you are going through a custody battle, you have my absolute support. Lawyers are very expensive but it pays to schedule just a consult with one. Also, I encourage you to review Judges’ Benchbook on Custody.