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5 Things to Remember if You’re Up Against False Accusations in Court

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5 Things to Remember if You’re Up Against False Accusations in Court

Unfortunately, false allegations of domestic abuse, adultery, and drug or alcohol abuse are not uncommon in divorce and child custody proceedings. Some people believe these allegations will give them the upper hand in custody or divorce battles. They may even obtain a temporary restraining order on false allegations. 

If you are facing false accusations in family court, it’s important to stay calm and know what to expect. Here are five things to keep in mind and how a family law attorney can help you defend yourself. 

You Should Start Gathering Evidence

If your divorce is contentious or your former partner has previously threatened to make false reports, protect yourself by quietly gathering and preserving evidence. 

This evidence includes: 

  • Screenshots, videos, or photos of social media content to document it if it’s deleted later
  • Text messages
  • Recordings of conversations or phone calls
  • Witness testimony

Georgia is a single-party consent state. That means you can record conversations and calls as long as you are one of the parties involved. 

You Will Have the Opportunity To Respond and Defend Yourself

If false accusations have been made, it’s important to remain calm and carefully plan a response. Avoid lashing out or losing your temper. 

You will have the opportunity to defend yourself and present evidence that shows the allegations are untrue. In many cases, allegations arise from incidents involving just the two parties with no evidence to prove what did or didn’t happen. In this case, you will want to make sure your testimony is more credible than your former partner’s.

Impeachment Can Be Used To Attack The Other Party’s Credibility

Family court is different from criminal proceedings. Generally, evidence that isn’t relevant to the divorce or custody case won’t be considered. However, you can introduce evidence to impeach a witness, which means discrediting them or questioning their credibility. 

If your spouse or a witness they call tries to make false allegations against you in court, you can submit evidence to discredit them. This can include everything from text messages and recorded calls to prior convictions involving dishonesty, a history of lying, and inconsistent statements on social media or taken during deposition. 

Making False Allegations Under Oath Is a Crime

Perjury is the act of willfully and knowingly making false statements under oath that are of consequence to the proceeding. In Georgia, perjury is a felony that can be punishable by one to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. 

If you can show the other party has committed perjury, they may be charged with a serious crime. They will also lose credibility in the divorce or custody case going forward as the judge will be less likely to trust their testimony. 

A Family Law Attorney Can Help You Defend Yourself Against False Accusations

If you aren’t already represented by a lawyer, it’s a good idea to hire a family law attorney when you are facing false allegations. Your lawyer will help you present the evidence necessary to discredit your spouse’s testimony or prove the allegations are untrue. 

A lawyer can also help you respond to a restraining order based on false allegations. A temporary ex-parte restraining order is fairly easy to get. Sometimes, people lie to get a temporary restraining order to have a partner removed from the home or to strengthen their position in custody or divorce proceedings. Within a month or so, a hearing must be held to give both sides the opportunity to tell their side to a judge and provide evidence. 

Your lawyer can represent you during this hearing. Evidence that disproves the allegations or calls your former partner’s testimony into question can be presented. Without good evidence to substantiate their claims, a protective order is unlikely to be issued.

Judges in Georgia are familiar with the tactic of making false accusations in a contentious custody proceeding. That doesn’t make the experience any less stressful or serious. Stay calm, gather any evidence you can, and allow your lawyer to speak on your behalf and plan the best course of action to make sure the truth is known. 

Contact the Georgia Divorce Lawyers of Bardley McKnight Law Divorce Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact Bardley McKnight Law Divorce Lawyers to schedule a confidential consultation with a Divorce lawyer in Douglasville today.

We proudly serve Douglas County and its surrounding areas:

Bardley McKnight Law Divorce Lawyers
12461 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Suite 470
Douglasville, GA 30134

(470) 308-5409

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