Florida laws do not use the term custody when referring to the rights parents have to their children. Instead, parents have parenting responsibilities and time-sharing, which is contingent on a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule. Family laws in Florida and most other states begin with the fundamental presumption that it is in the children’s best interest for both parents to remain equally active and involved in their children’s lives.
However, it would be against the children’s best interest to stay with a parent who has a history of domestic violence. The court may deny visitation rights to the abusive parent or order supervised visitation and even issue restraining orders. A parent with a domestic violence conviction can lose their parental rights to their children.
Dealing with false domestic violence allegations
Domestic violence allegations can come from a former spouse or partner who aims to punish you by keeping your kids away from you. Such allegations are unfair, but they are more common than you would think, particularly during contentious child custody cases. The accuser may even try to manipulate your children to believe that you are an abusive and negligent partner or parent. Here are steps you can take to build your defense:
- Stay calm and levelheaded.
- Gather as much documentation and evidence as possible to disprove the allegations.
- Develop a timeline that shows when the allegation began and what could have triggered it.
- Avoid being alone with accuser.
- Hire an attorney with experience in false domestic violence allegations and parental alienation.
- Talk to a mental health professional or forensic psychologist who can provide expert testimony in court.
You can work with experts to piece together a narrative and expose the motivation behind your former partner’s false allegations.
Protecting your parental rights
Despite the ongoing legal proceedings, always fulfill all your parental obligations to your children and comply with court orders. Patience will be invaluable during these trying times.