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When abuse isn't

Domestic violence is a very real issue that impacts thousands of people across the United States. However, false allegations are also surprisingly common and can cause a great many issues for those going through divorce or custody proceedings. The majority of these false allegations happen to men, and if this is something you're going through now, it's important to understand what is happening and what you can do about it.

Approximately one in four divorces include some kind of allegations of domestic violence or abuse, but studies show that around 70 percent of those accusations turn out to be either unnecessary or completely false. The problem is that by the time the courts determine the allegations to be untrue, they have often already caused significant damage to the father-child relationship.

Because domestic violence allegations almost always involve orders of protection, they can make it very difficult for the accused parent to stay involved in the child's life. Someone else will have to be the go-between during custody exchanges, and the accused parent may not be able to attend the child's school functions or extracurricular activities.

If you've been falsely accused of domestic violence or abuse, it's important to take immediate steps. The very first thing you should do is schedule a meeting with a family law attorney who can help you fight the allegations. In the meantime, it's important to get as much documentation together as possible on the events surrounding the alleged incident. You will also need to make sure to follow all terms of any order of protection and make sure you don't do anything that could be used against you in court.

Source: Huffington Post, "False Allegations of Abuse Target Men in Divorce," Joseph E. Cordell, accessed June 23, 2016

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