There's no denying it — if someone claims a spouse has been abusive, people are going to listen. There have been too many tragic stories of victims of domestic abuse who met violent ends after someone ignored their cries for help. Because of this, authorities generally give the benefit of the doubt to the accuser and assume the worst of the accused.
If your spouse has told authorities that you committed domestic abuse, you may find yourself in a delicate and terrifying situation. The odds are against you, and you may already be seeing the effects of the false accusations. People may be treating you differently, friends may avoid you and your job may be on the line. The worst consequence may be your separation from your children.
The consequences you may face
Going through a divorce or breakup can bring out the worst in people. False allegations of domestic abuse often give the accusers the upper hand in matters that typically arise during divorces. If your spouse or ex has been resentful or vindictive during the breakup, you may not be surprised at the use of such a tactic as a method of revenge.
Your spouse may have gotten some advice from someone who understands how swiftly and completely the law works to protect those who are victims of domestic abuse. Once a spouse makes an allegation of abuse, the wheels are set in motion. You may experience the following, despite the fact that there is no evidence against you:
- A judge may issue a no-contact order.
- Police officers may come to your home and force you to leave.
- You will not have the option of returning to your home to collect your belongings.
- The court may deny you any contact with your children even through other people.
- Any communication or attempts at communicating with your spouse or children may lead to your immediate arrest.
In many cases, a protective order because of accusations of domestic violence makes it much less likely that you will win a custody battle. In some cases, a Washington family court may grant you supervised visitation, but as long as court orders prevent you from spending time with your children, a judge is more likely to agree that sharing custody with you would disrupt their lives.
Clearing your name and fighting for your rights as a parent are probably your all-consuming thoughts at this time. Having skillful and passionate legal advocacy will provide you with an advantage that makes an important difference in the outcome of your case.