R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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Could you be falsely accused of domestic violence?

Contested divorces often bring out the absolute worst in spouses. People who are otherwise the soul of reason and rationality can be completely undone by a messy divorce.

What sometimes happens in these types of cases is that one of the parties seeks an unfair advantage over the other in the divorce proceedings. In these situations, it's not uncommon for one spouse to make false accusations of domestic violence.

Tips to survive false allegations

You have every right to be concerned if you suspect that your former partner might levy false accusations of domestic violence on you. After all, Houston courts tend to err on the side of caution and often issue temporary restraining orders with little or no evidence beyond an ex's word that domestic violence occurred.

If you're worried this could occur in your situation, the following tips might help:

  • Don't rough-house with the kids. Some kids bruise like overripe bananas, and it would be easy to paint a friendly wrestling session as something far more sinister.
  • Don't engage in consensual bondage or kinky sex with your ex. Never mind that this might have been a staple of your married sex life. Now, any marks you leave could get you arrested if your ex mischaracterizes the activity.
  • Make copies of important documents now. Later, your access to vital documents like vehicle titles, birth certificates, tax returns, etc. could be compromised or curtailed. Keep the copies in a secure location to which your ex has no access.
  • Open a checking account in only your name. During divorce, accounts can be emptied by spouses or frozen by the courts. Maintain access to your funds with a separate account.
  • Change all your passwords. Do this for cellphones, utilities, bank accounts, social media sites and computers.
  • Remove weapons from the home. Also, don't target shoot or open carry around your ex.
  • Reduce your social media footprint. Much can be gleaned from following someone's social media activities. Shut this opportunity down.
  • Interact with your ex only around witnesses. If you think that your ex might lash out with false accusations, bring a friend along for custody transfers or arrange to do this at the police station.

It's also a good idea to let others know that false accusations might arise -- your legal team, friends and family, maybe even your boss. That way, they will be prepared to support you in a worst-case scenario.

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