Domestic violence is a matter to be taken seriously. The statistics from NCADV are shocking; in West Virginia, domestic violence is connected to one-third of homicides. Of women who are killed, someone close to them committed the crime in about two-thirds of cases. As for male victims, about a quarter of men in the United States have been the target of a partner’s violence.
So, it can be disheartening to be accused of domestic violence when you are going through a child custody battle. Even more frustrating is when the accusation is false, which happens more often than not. Judges have their work cut out for them trying to determine which accusations are real and which are not because the consequences can be so devastating.
Lawyers have several tools they can use to fight false accusations of domestic violence. For example, they can draw upon eyewitness testimonies and medical records to disprove domestic violence claims and have an independent psychologist evaluate each member of the family.
Perhaps the accusation levied against you is true. Maybe you did shove your ex during a heated argument, for example. Yes, this can hurt your custody chances, but you minimize the impact by agreeing to take anger management classes and receive counseling. Good-faith efforts go a long way in court and with co-parents. Also, the cleaner your history is (a lack of domestic violence charges), the less effect an accusation, even if true, may have on you because it is an aberration in an otherwise upstanding life.
No matter if an accusation is true or false, you are well within your rights to not say anything until you have consulted with a lawyer. In fact, speaking too early could be what hurts you most. You may want to go out of your way to cooperate at first, but retaining a lawyer is not a sign of guilt.