Criminal Aspects to Family Law Cases
Family law cases can be emotional minefields, as they often involve the breakup of relationships. They also involve a legal battle over the things that are the most important to us: our children and our homes. Given this charged atmosphere, it is little wonder that in some cases, allegations of criminal conduct arise. Navigating these turbulent issues can be difficult, particularly as you attempt to continue to move forward with your case.
At Madden & Associates, we understand that child abuse and domestic violence happen far too frequently in our country. We also know that in some cases, false allegations of these heinous crimes may be made in family law cases. Our role is to get to the truth of the matter, and to advocate fiercely for our clients. By thoroughly investigating the claims and making strong legal arguments, we can help our clients protect their interests and achieve the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a skilled Upland family law attorney, contact our office today at (909) 581-8390 or anytime via email.
Child Abuse Allegations
In some child custody cases, allegations of child abuse may arise. Child abuse is an incredibly serious matter, and should be taken seriously in the best interests of the child or children involved. However, there may be situations where the accusations are made in an attempt to gain an advantage in a family law case — and the allegations themselves are completely false.
Under California law, children are to have frequent and continued contact with both parents. However, if one parent has accused the other of child abuse, and these allegations are supported by strong evidence, this preference for joint custody may be overcome. For this reason, a parent who has been falsely accused of child abuse should immediately consult with an experienced Upland family law attorney. If there is a criminal case pending, your lawyer may also refer you to an attorney who specializes in criminal defense.
An Upland family law attorney can work with you to defend against false allegations of child abuse. In many cases, this will start by putting together a list of witnesses who can testify about your parenting. These witnesses may also be able to speak about their knowledge of the allegations. For example, a mutual friend may be aware that your ex had threatened to accuse you of child abuse if you left.
A thorough investigation of the alleged abuse can help refute the claims made by the other parent. This may involve hiring a forensic psychologist to evaluate your child or children, taking a deposition of your spouse, and interviewing any witnesses who claim to have witnessed the abuse. Working with a skilled Upland family law attorney can help you put together a strong defense against false child abuse allegations. It will also give you peace of mind in knowing that you are doing everything possible to rebut the charges — and to fight for your right to see your kids.
If you prove the allegations to be false, a court may limit order supervised visitation with the parent who made the false accusations, if he or she made them maliciously. Otherwise, a court may order this parent to pay the costs of the parent who was falsely accused.
The seriousness of child abuse allegations combined with the importance of being able to maintain custody of your children demonstrate how vital it is to have an aggressive, skillful Upland family law attorney to represent you. With a knowledgeable lawyer on your side, you can investigate the allegations, prove them to be false, and get your custody case back on track.
Domestic Violence Allegations
Domestic violence — defined as abuse by one partner against the other, with a pattern of power and control — is far too common in the United States. By some estimates, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. In California, domestic violence is a crime that can result in serious consequences, including jail time.
Questions of domestic violence often arise during California divorce proceedings. As a general rule, California is a no-fault divorce state. However, if one spouse has been convicted of domestic violence against the other spouse within the past 5 years, the presumption is that the convicted spouse should not receive an award of spousal support. Allegations of domestic violence may also have an impact of property division during a divorce case. A court might determine that the spouse who suffered the domestic violence is entitled to a greater share of the martial assets, even though California is a community property state.
In addition, if a court determines that a parent in a divorce or child custody proceeding engaged in domestic violence against the other parent or a child, the presumption is that the abusive parent should not receive joint or sole custody of the child. A parent who the court believes has committed domestic violence may still be awarded some form of custody if that parent completes a treatment program, a parenting class, or if it is in the best interests of the child. Visitation (supervised or unsupervised) may also be awarded
Criminal domestic violence cases are not necessary for a court to take these steps in divorce proceedings, although they may benefit the partner making the allegation. Instead, the court can make a decision based on any “relevant, admissible evidence” submitted by both parties. A court will also consider the recommendation of the Family Court Services staff and a child custody evaluator. Because these relatively serious consequences — loss of custody, inequitable division of property — can occur without criminal charges ever being filed, it is important to consult with an Upland family law attorney as soon as possible if you have been accused of domestic violence.
Temporary restraining orders may be also be a factor in a divorce case. These orders are valid for a period of time, and order the allegedly abusive spouse or partner to stay away from the requesting spouse’s home, vehicle, workplace as well as the school or childcare where the children attend or stay. While temporary restraining orders are civil in nature, a violation of the order may lead to criminal charges. For this reason, anyone facing a potential restraining order should talk to an Upland family law attorney about their options.
Family Law Attorney in Upland, California
Allegations of child abuse or domestic violence in a family law case are incredibly difficult for everyone involved. Madden & Associates is highly experienced at handling these complex situations. We will utilize our skills and knowledge of the California family law system to help you achieve a favorable resolution to your case. Attorney James Madden will investigate the facts and assert your rights. To schedule a consultation with a seasoned Upland family law attorney, contact our office at (909) 581-8390 or via email anytime.