New Jersey courts take allegations of child abuse very seriously and, if it turns out that the allegations are substantial, they may terminate the abusive parent’s parental rights. Unfortunately, some parents use this fact to their advantage during bitter divorce hearings by making false claims of child abuse. If you are the victim of these false allegations, it is important that you understand what you can do to protect your parental rights.

Per FindLaw, you should always try to resolve your custody disputes in court. Doing so can reduce the risk that your former partner will use false allegations as a means of obtaining custody. However, if your former partner already made the accusations, you should hire an experienced attorney right away. Even if you trust that the truth will prevail or that your child’s other parent will rescind his or her claims, a lawyer can help you navigate these tricky legal waters and safeguard your interest.

Until the matter is resolved, you should avoid being around your children without another trusted adult present. Schedule visitation time to include grandparents, aunts, uncles, day care workers, scout leaders or any other adult who can attest to your innocence. You should also avoid engaging in any conduct that others may construe as inappropriate, such as roughhousing, making inappropriate jokes or engaging in unnecessarily rough horseplay.

That said, you should strive to maintain a positive relationship with your child while the case pends. Understand that your child is not to blame and even if he or she says things that suggest he or she supports the assertions, his or her other parent could easily have planted the false accusations in his or her mind.

Finally, reach out to friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers who may be willing to testify on your behalf. Both written and verbal testimony serve as adequate evidence.

This article is not meant to serve as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.