Custody disputes are difficult. The parents’ feelings are high. They are bitter to each other. One parent could accuse the other of emotionally or physically abusing the child. False allegations of child abuse are not uncommon. Fighting false allegations is just as difficult as providing evidence, as lawyers have to produce a lot of detailed evidence in order to resolve the problem. The experienced custody lawyers at Boudreaux | Hunter & Associates, LLC are familiar with such litigation.
Boudreaux | Hunter & Associates, LLC, limits its practice to family law, specifically child custody. The firm’s lawyers are led by two partners, Shannon Boudreaux and Kevin Hunter. Both are graduates of the South Texas College of Law.
Doctors can help combat allegations of false child abuse
If one parent claims the other abused their child, the child’s doctor is an important source of evidence. Under Texas law, like other professionals, doctors are required by law to report child abuse if they suspect it has occurred. Whether a doctor has reported abuse is an expert opinion on whether abuse has occurred: no report means no abuse. Dismissing the doctor and reviewing medical records can help fight false allegations of child abuse.
Day care centers or school teachers
Another important source of evidence is a child’s daycare or school. Kindergarten teachers and teachers, like doctors, have a child’s best interest in their hearts. Unlike doctors, daycare centers and teachers spend a lot of time with a child. They are sensitive to the child’s moods, the appearance of the child, visible marks such as bruises or scratches, and possibly the child’s feelings towards one or both of the parents. If the child seems happy and doing well, daycare and teachers add to the evidence against false allegations of child abuse.
Fighting false allegations with psychologists
Another source of evidence is a report from a psychologist. A court has the power to order a parent to be examined by a court-appointed psychologist. The court can choose a professional whom the court trusts. Psychologists are able to interview and test parents to see if they are accusing the other parent of child abuse.
It is important to examine circumstantial evidence when combating false allegations of child abuse. Abuse always takes place privately. In other words, no one is present except the child and the perpetrator. However, if no abuse has taken place, it may be possible to demonstrate that no abuse has taken place. For example, the alleged perpetrator may not have been able to commit the abuse because that person was at work or with someone else who could testify. If the parent is suspected of child abuse, fails to report to the Texas Department of Family and Protection Services (TDFPS), or takes the child to a doctor immediately after the alleged abuse, there is evidence that there is no abuse.
Appointment as amicus lawyer
The Texas Family Code contains another provision designed to help a court learn the truth about whether child abuse has occurred. The law allows the court to appoint an amicus attorney. An amicus attorney is a seasoned family law attorney hired by the court to investigate allegations of child abuse. After a thorough investigation, the amicus attorney will give the court a recommendation based on the best interests of the child. Ms. Boudreaux has served in the court system as an amicus lawyer.
Punishment for wrongful child abuse in Texas
History shows that neither the law nor the fear of God will prevent some people from lying in court. However, Texas lawmakers have given the courts a special power to help them fight false allegations of child abuse. The law states that if a person reports child abuse without a factual basis, the court can consider it a false report, admit the false report as evidence in the custody process, and fine the false reporter $ 500. Incorrect reporting of child abuse can also lead to criminal prosecution.
Tackling false allegations of child abuse is a daunting task. It requires skillful compilation of various types of evidence to demonstrate that child abuse has not occurred. Contact an experienced Texas custody lawyer in Boudreaux | Hunter & Associates, LLC ready to help you defend. Please call (713) 333-4430 or visit their website to schedule a consultation.