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Beware of false allegations in divorce

Divorce is rarely an amicable, dignified process, but two things almost always find a way to make it far more complicated — high assets within the marriage and children within the marriage. Unfortunately, the presence of either or both of these elements regularly compels one spouse or the other to take actions that turn the process hostile. In many cases, one spouse will accuse the other of some illegal act to gain leverage in the property division or custody agreements.

While this practice is both highly unethical and illegal, it is far more widespread than you might think. Often, it is the result of one partner wishing harm on the other or fearing that they have no leverage to negotiate and lashing out in self-preservation.

When you are facing divorce, especially when children are involved, or significant assets must be fairly divided, you should always consult with an experienced attorney about what behavior to avoid during your divorce. Even behavior that is not wrong may, in some cases, be used against you.

False allegations against a spouse generally fall into a few categories — abuse of some kind or financial impropriety. The abuse may be against a spouse or against a child, or may even include using alcohol or drugs in the child's presence.

Similarly, if you have significant assets, it is important to keep your spending within normal bounds. Otherwise, you may face allegations of intentionally wasting assets, which a judge may frown upon.

Of course, false allegations are wrong, and in some cases illegal. If you believe that your spouse has made false allegations against you, don't hesitate to obtain strong legal counsel from an experienced attorney who understands how to protect your rights.

Source: Findlaw, "Do's and Don'ts: False Allegations of Child Abuse," accessed May 19, 2017

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