Family law cases can be extremely contentious, and it is not uncommon for parties to go to great lengths to persuade the courts to rule in their favor. While it is permissible for people to engage in any lawful tactic to convince the courts to see things in their light, if they set forth false allegations or lie to the courts in custody cases, it will generally negatively impact their case. If false allegations were levied against you in a custody dispute and you have questions regarding your rights, it is critical to speak to a trusted California child custody attorney as soon as possible.
False Allegations in California Child Custody Cases
The California courts take allegations of abuse, neglect, or any other behavior that may place a child at risk very seriously. As such, if a party makes such claims in a child custody case, they will thoroughly investigate their veracity. Regardless of the severity of the allegations, it is important that anyone wrongfully accused of inappropriate or harmful behavior dispute the allegations. If they do not, it may impair their parental rights and open the gate for additional inaccurate assertions. Additionally, if false allegations are not promptly refuted, it may be difficult to prove they are untrue at a later date.
Penalties for Making False Allegations
Family Code 3027.1 sets forth the penalties for making false allegations. Specifically, section 3027.1 provides that if a court finds, based on an investigation or other evidence offered to it, that a person involved in a child custody case made false accusations of child neglect or abuse and that they knew the allegations were untrue at the time they made them, the court may impose monetary sanctions on the party. The amount of the sanctions cannot exceed the costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the accused party in defending the allegations. Notably, sanctions may be levied against any individual that makes false allegations, including a party, the party’s attorney, or a witness in the case.
In addition to imposing sanctions, if a court finds that a party made false accusations of sexual abuse of a child in a custody case, with the knowledge that the statement was false at the time it was made, the court may modify the parent’s custody or visitation rights or may order supervised visitation. The courts will only impose limitations on a parent’s custody rights if they believe it is necessary to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the child, however.
Speak to a Trusted California Custody Attorney
False allegations can harm a parent’s right to custody and visitation as well as their reputation in the community, and parties that lie to the courts for their advantage should be held accountable. If you were harmed by inaccurate accusations, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney. The trusted child custody attorneys at the Bay Area Family Law Center can advise you of your rights and help you to pursue a just outcome. You can contact us at 925-258-2020 or via the form online to set up a meeting.
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