Many couples have arguments from time to time, but rarely do those arguments turn violent. However, some people may accuse their significant other of domestic abuse out of spite or for some form of vindication. If the couple is going through a divorce, a spouse may allege domestic violence on his or her partner as a way to gain advantage during divorce proceedings. If the couple has children, these accusations from the other spouse regarding domestic violence and assault can have dire consequences regarding child custody and visitation matters, especially if those allegations are not true.
How and why it happens
As mentioned, many times a person will allege domestic abuse on his or her partner or spouse as a way to get back at them. Often, those accused are completely blind-sided by the accusations because they were never violent and may have done nothing more than raise their voice during an argument. Still, if a person calls the police regarding the matter, authorities may feel they have have no choice but to comply with the law and arrest the accused or remove him or her from the household. This is true even if the person making the allegations withdraws his or her accusations.
Accusations of domestic violence can have far-reaching effects on the lives and careers of the accused. They may be arrested and jailed, and their reputation may never fully recover. Additionally, if the accusations occur during divorce/child custody proceedings, those allegations may cause the judge to ban the accused from having any contact with his or her children or impose supervised visitations, among other consequences.
Although protecting actual victims of real domestic violence is important, some can manipulate the system to their own advantage and file false claims. Police usually take the side of the accuser, which puts the accused at a major disadvantage, even if the accuser recants. If someone is facing baseless accusations of domestic violence from a partner or spouse, that person will need to work directly with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to challenge the accusations and increase their chances for a successful outcome.