In high conflict divorces, many times a spouse will use false allegations of abuse or even sexual abuse of a child to alienate the accused parent from the child. Not only is this a form of parental alienation, but it is very dangerous to the relationship between the accused and child. Once the allegations have been sorted and found to be false, it can be very difficult to interact and co-parent with your former spouse. Here are some tips on how to keep the conflict at bay:
Open Communication. Keeping an open and healthy form of communication may be the most difficult thing to do when it comes to dealing with your former spouse, especially after an abuse allegation. So, to counter any possible conflict, keep all communication documented to avoid misunderstanding. Try using email or text messages as to leave some kind of trace to what was said so later, if it is brought up in court, there is no he-said-she-said.
Leave emotions out of the interaction. In addition to documenting your interaction between you and your former spouse, trying keeping the communication short and simple. Leave out any emotions and focus on what is important. Although you’re going to feel some kind of emotion after an abuse allegation, it is important to remember that it will take communication to stay active in your child’s life in a healthy and positive way. A child’s experience through an abuse allegation can be very traumatic for them, so try focusing on their best interests and make them number 1.
Seek advice. Just as when a major trauma occurs, being accused of abuse can really takes its toll on someone mentally. It can be a very stressful and hurtful process. With that said, don’t be afraid to seek out some kind of counseling! It’s okay to feel overwhelmed with so much anger and frustration, just make sure you seek the help to assist in overcoming the events. If you’re afraid of the court or your former spouse knowing you decided to seek counseling, try to avoid using the same agency or practice as your former spouse or child. Seeking a counselor is completely confidential, which means that no one has to know, not even your former spouse or the court, that you’re seeking support for yourself.
Get a second opinion. It’s always a great idea to seek out a second opinion in an abuse allegation case. Seek out a forensic psychologist who specializes in parental alienation to provide a second opinion to your case. The psychologist may choose to administer tests to you, the child involved, as well as the other parent who is alleging the abuse occurred to assess for certain abuse risk factors. These tests can provide the judge with valid and factual data to support your case in court. It’s always a good idea to have your child see some kind of mental health professional for therapy.
Follow your parenting plan. In high-conflict divorces, the court will typically provide the newly divorced parents with a parenting plan to follow. The parenting plan is a document that outlines timesharing guidelines, as well as many other details of co-parenting. After an abuse allegation, you should also strictly follow the guidelines writing in the parenting plan as you can be held in contempt of court if you do not. Following the parenting plan can also help avoid many conflicts and disagreements between you and your former spouse.
If you or someone you known has fallen victim to parental alienation, please contact our office for a consultation! 561-429-2140
Are you a victim of false child abuse allegations? If so, let us know how you dealt with parenting after the false allegations in the comments below!